Honours artists explore the world through painting and photography

Published 12 November 2015

Dan McDonnell Tired Eyes

Digital technology, memory, the natural world, marine lifeforms and storytelling are the themes being explored by five Honours visual arts graduating students in the Transit2015 Honours exhibition , which opens tomorrow night (Friday November 13) at Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus.

The Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) degree enables students to take their work to a higher level through research, training and the development of their professional contemporary practice. Honours is also the pathway to postgraduate studies.

The artists and their artists’ statements:

David Carroll, painter
"Using personal memory as a means of inspiration, I approach abstract art in a way that is not particularly abstract. In representing memories in non-figurative ways, painting becomes an intuitive process that enables me to explore the parameters between abstraction and representation. My paintings document my response to specific memories through form and colour yet they also document this very process of reflection, suggesting the enigmatic and temporal aspects of both memory and painting."

Giovanna Field, painter
"My work explores gestural painting in terms of observations of the natural world, influenced by traditional and contemporary Asian art practices. I regard my works as neither landscapes nor abstractions, focusing instead on the apparent timelessness of the painterly gesture."

Christine King, photographer
"My work, The Plastic Ocean Project, developed out of a fascination for the illustrations of Ernst Haeckel. Like Haeckel, I’ve devoted my creative activity to the investigation and conservation of the multifarious lifeforms that are found in our oceans. These sci-fi illustrated works are a mesh of synthetic materials and organic surfaces that reference historical and contemporary forms of microscopic imaging, bridging the gap between science and art."

Dan McDonnell, painter
"I’m interested in how the aesthetics of digital technology can overlap with painterly practice. I paint with my bare hands onto plexiglass, in such a way that emphasises touch and materiality but also simulation and separation. I’m inspired by the visual interfaces of laptops, smartphones and tablets, and the peculiar quality of touch-screen technology, in which our interactions are at once direct and mediated. Through the language of abstraction I want my work to reflect on what it means to live in an era dominated by the screen."

Simon Turnbull, painter
"I tell stories, but not in the usual way. My practice explores the structures, themes and archetypes of the storytelling process itself. Narratives are excavated, and new meanings reveal themselves like the remains of ancient cultures. Compositions are theorised and laboured over until they take on a life, and a history, of their own."

The Honours exhibition follows the successful undergraduate Transit exhibition held last month.

“The annual Transit exhibition gives students the chance to reveal their fascinations, and to share their conceptual and material discoveries,” said Dr Wes Hill, acting visual arts course coordinator.

“For students of the visual arts degree, the graduate exhibition is the culmination of three years of hard work, marking a period of intense creativity and self-reflexivity, and the beginning of what I hope will be long careers as practising artists, arts educators and arts professionals.

“For students of the Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), the exhibition at the end of their fourth year of study provides a platform for creative research, propelling them towards deeper understandings of their artistic disciplines.”

The Transit2015 Honours Exhibition opens on Friday, November 13, from 5.30pm to 8pm, in V block, Lismore campus and runs until November 28. Open daily from 11am to 2pm (closed Sundays).
Photo: ‘Tired eyes’, oil and aerosol on perspex mounted on wood, by Dan McDonnell.

Media contact: Sharlene King media officer, Southern Cross University, 02 6620 3508 or 0429 661 349.