An artwork originally inspired by mental health challenges has turned into so much more for St Andrew’s Anglican College Year 12 student Poppie Thorpe, after COVID-19 restrictions stranded her and her family in New Zealand for four months.
The Sunshine Coast student’s artwork ‘Isolated in Ambiguity’ received an Excellence Award in the Creative Generation Excellence Awards and fulfilling her dream to be displayed in the central exhibition at GoMA in 2021.
Poppie and her family became stuck in New Zealand for four months during the COVID-19 lockdown, meaning she was forced to complete the end of Term 1 and all of Term 2 remotely and online.
Although the talented visual art student had already decided on a piece that explored mental health challenges, her own and shared experiences through COVID-19 isolation, lockdowns and restrictions heightened and emphasised the end result.
“This year has definitely had its ups and downs,” Poppie said.
“It was quite hard seeing everyone back at school once Queensland’s restrictions eased, especially because I was still stuck in a different country without my friends and had to do classes online.
“The beginning of COVID and having to leave Australia for four months caused a lot of stress for me which also influenced a part of my artwork.
‘Isolated in Ambiguity’ represents my personal experiences with anxiety and how it can feel as though I am isolated from everyone around me.
“Seeing other people struggle with the same thing all around the world also made me realise that what I was feeling was normal and that my artwork idea was more relevant than ever.”
Poppie’s work, which is an augmented reality artwork, with an animation, audio and a printed digital illustration component, showcases various symptoms of anxiety and how they affect her personally.
To complete the artwork she composed multiple images of herself into a still digital illustration, with animation and audio files into the EyeJack Creator app which is where the augmented reality feature came to life.
“When doing this, there were some technical difficulties, but they were solved after researching more about the app,” she said.
“The artwork was originally going to be an animation that would play through a big screen at the exhibition; however, my teacher introduced me to the world of augmented reality, and it became much more than a short animation.
“The drawings within the animation were initially going to be simpler sketches, but it evolved into more ‘scientific-like’ drawings.”
Having her artwork feature at GoMA is a dream come true for Poppie, who plans to study a Bachelor of Arts next year and one day feature her art in exhibitions and possibly become an illustrator of children’s books.
“I remember going to the visual art exhibitions since I was in primary, all the way through to secondary school and was always so inspired by the grade 12s’ artworks – hoping that my art would be just as good when I made it to my last year of school,” she said.
“I am extremely proud of my achievements regarding art this year and being a part of the GoMA Creative Generation exhibition is very exciting!”
Poppie is the fourth St Andrew’s student in the past five years to be represented in this prestigious exhibition.
The ‘Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art’ recognises and promotes excellence in visual art education throughout Queensland state and non-state secondary schools.
The exhibition showcases senior visual art students’ high degree of sophistication in concepts and diversity of technical competence.
View Poppie’s artwork as part of the Creative Generation Awards and read more online.Jump to next article