ArtRage 2023 artist profile: Millie

ArtRage 2023 artist Millie stands in front of her piece, The Tin Noses Shop #2

Image: ArtRage 2023 artist Millie with her piece, The Tin Noses Shop #2. Photo: QVMAG. 

For her piece in ArtRage, Visual Art student Millie took inspiration from one of the greats. 

"One of the artists that mainly inspired me was Francis Bacon," said Millie. "I came across him earlier in the year and his work was just fascinating. Even though my work doesn't look directly like his, I like looking at his brushstrokes — more fluid and a bit all over the place. So, when I went in with all the colours and everything, I didn't have a particular plan.  

"But also, I like doing realism in my own time, so I wanted to use that to integrate into my own work. It’s a mix of different styles, abstract and realism. Throughout the year I learned to use oil paints, which I used to paint the eyes of my portraits in realism. I also used vibrant colours and loose brushstrokes for abstract elements, to show facial deformities, which create contrast." 

Millie tackled the subject of war trauma in her work. "I use references of World War I soldiers,” she said, "to comment on the emotional effects that they went through, in the torment and toils.  

"The Tin Noses Shop #2 is from a series of works exploring the trauma of war. The title of the works is derived from the nickname given by the soldiers in WWI to the post-war hospital ward initiated by artists, dedicated to creating copper facial masks to conceal facial injuries and deformities sustained in war.   

"The works aim to capture the pain endured due to these horrific injuries, through the use of abstract elements." 

ArtRage 2023 - Millie Snell, The Tin Noses Shop #2 (2023)

Image: Millie Snell, The Tin Noses Shop #2 (2023). Photo: supplied. 

Millie is thrilled to be part of ArtRage. "I was very excited when I found out,” she said. "I was hoping for it! I'm very happy to be part of a big exhibition with so many people. It's so fascinating that it’s across the whole state and there are people in it that you don't know. You think, ‘Wow, this is really cool’.” 

Her advice for other students is to explore the art world. "I would say just immerse yourself into as much artwork as possible,” Millie said. “Just look at different things, whether you like it or not. Because that's how you build the foundation of your own work — by involving yourself in so many different things. I think it's very important in creating your own work. And it's fun. It's cool, to see all these different artworks. 

“And — always be creating. This could either be in journals or creating larger works. But by continuously creating, you are always progressing in skills and allowing new ideas to come, which further develop your body of work.”