Art Express is an annual exhibition of sublime works created by students from the previous year's HSC. The exhibition runs at a range of galleries around the state and the Sutherland Shire has its crack from February 1st to March 16th for the 2014 incarnation.
Neither will you need to walk around pretending to comprehend the inner machinations of each work. All the pieces are accompanied by a written synopsis of the artist's mission.
Ask 50 different people of their favourites in this display and you will invariably receive 50 different responses. It's such an arbitrary subject but let the record show my top 3 hits were:
# Kim HienLe from Liverpool Girls High. Kim's work is an autobiographical interpretation of what has shaped her into the person she is today. Nothing too unorthodox in that concept but it's the manner and materials she has utilised that dragged my eyes ever closer.
# Georgia Allen, Inaburra School. Georgia uses two medium to express the complex story of a young Sierra Leone boy who had escaped the ravages of war in his own country. A thoughtfully edited stop-motion film oversees a cardboard sculpture of the same boy playing a drum. This double play is equal parts insightful and evocative.
# Ethan Huang of Sydney Technical High School. You won't need to swivel your brain with this one. Simply stand in front and gaze at the portraits of two homeless people. I don't know how folk like Ethan capture such moments with graphite and paper but that's why he's the artist and I'm the pleb. The eyes of his two subjects seem to bore straight through the viewer.
That's my 3 picks but pack your flexible mindset, come on down and make your own decisions from the 50 or so works on display. When you have wound up, and seeing as the exhibition is free, why not spend a few dollars in the adjoining Hazelhurst Cafe? The menu is slick, the service amiable and the balcony overlooks the gallery's manicured gardens.
On the way out, grab a brochure and see what else is on offer at the gallery. From art classes to the Film Club, Hazelhurst is a bohemian oasis deep in The Shire.