ArtRage takes the pulse of 2020

Isabella Hayes (Newstead College) Ashley Bird (QVMAG Curator) Image Credit Rob Burnett (2).jpg


Media release – Issued Thursday 17 December 2020

The City of Launceston's Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) will kick off the annual statewide tour of ArtRage for 2020 hosting the exhibition at the QVMAG Museum at Inveresk from December 19 until March 21.

In its 26th year, the exhibition showcases the year's top selection of budding Tasmanian artists in years 11 and 12 studying Art Production or Art Studio Practice as part of their Tasmanian Certificate of Education.

More than 200 individual works from 117 students from 23 schools and colleges around the state are featured.

The 2020 student-led exhibition displays an array of beautiful, challenging and mature works that this year reflects the impacts of a global pandemic on young Tasmanians.

City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten regards ArtRage as an opportunity for the community to connect with young artists. “ArtRage has traditionally been a stepping-stone for emerging Tasmanian artists. Following the uncertainty of the event in 2020 due to COVID earlier in the year, it's wonderful to see this initiative back on our exhibition schedule”, Mayor van Zetten said.

Creative Arts and Cultural Services General Manager, Tracy Puklowski, said ArtRage provides a foot in the door for young, emerging artists and a taster for a career in the arts and culture sector.

"There has never been a more important time to come and support emerging creative talent. ArtRage has traditionally been a stepping-stone for emerging Tasmanian artists. For the past 26 years, ArtRage has helped provide a creative outlet and voice to young Tasmanians in what is always a vibrant and sometimes provocative exhibition.

"This is demonstrated with former ArtRage alumni Alastair Mooney's debut major exhibition Nest, now showing at the Queen Victoria Art Gallery at Royal Park as part of QVMAG's Summer Season." Ms Puklowski said.

ArtRage Curator, Ashley Bird, travelled the state to pull together the 2020 collection and said, "the 2020 curation captures a moment in time for our young creatives as they grapple with the impacts of social isolation and uncertainty in the midst of a global pandemic. Having curated ArtRage for the past five years, this year is particularly special. Thematically, the pieces capture a new level of emotional depth and demonstration of tenacity that shines through the exhibition."

Each year, a panel of ArtRage Examiners' awards a prize for the most outstanding students. The 2020 Examiners' Choice for Art Studio Practice is a series of largescale dynamic paintings by Isabella Hayes from Newstead College.

Isabella's body of work communicates a raw emotional energy through a bold expressionistic painting technique. The content of the work captures feelings of anxiety, vulnerability and fear experienced during isolation. Isabella said her work is a powerful statement and response to what has been a challenging personal journey. "My work is a reflection of my solitary experience during COVID. The impact of isolation came through in my art practice, as I had to adapt to new ways of continuing my practice during a difficult and disruptive time. To overcome personal challenges during isolation I sustained a deep focus on my art practice."

The Examiners' Choice for Art Production is Rose Castle from The Friends' School. Rose’s folio illustrates both the elegance and maestro mechanics of kinetic sculpture. "My work reflects the intersection between raw mathematics and the beauty that humans find in movement. I have tried to make both functional and beautiful pieces using practical materials and complex engineering. Building, designing, tweaking and modifying each piece was a rewarding and technical challenge for me."

ArtRage continues to provide an opportunity for the community to view the diverse and thought-provoking artworks by talented and highly creative young artists. The ArtRage exhibition will also travel to Hobart where it will be on show at the Salamanca Arts Centre from 8 May to 22 May and at The Burnie Regional Art Gallery from 6 August until 18 September.