A WHOLE lot of energy, emotion and time has been poured into major art projects, completed by Year 12 students for their Higher School Certificate (HSC).
Three local Tamworth students have had their hard work in Visual Arts classes recognised, and are in the running to be part of the prestigious Art Express 2020 exhibition.
Oxley High School's Elly Chapple and Charlotte Baker submitted photography works, while Callum Cutler from Calrossy created a multimedia piece.
The trio told the Leader they were excited and proud to have made the cut for the pre-selection round.
Their works have been shipped off to Sydney, where a panel will select the final entries of 2020 HSC works to form the annual Art Express exhibition in the Art Gallery of NSW.
Elly made a 14-piece photographic collection for her HSC work, based on a concept close to her heart.
"It was all about my dad and documenting his working life and everything he's done, so it's a bit of a tribute to him," she said.
"I think that because it was so personal, it made it even more exciting and special that I got to go through to the next round and it's among some of the other great HSC artworks in the state."
Charlotte also worked on a very personal project, opening up about her struggles.
"My work is reflective of my mental health, suffering with depression and anxiety ... so it's a visualisation of what goes through your head during the difficult times," she said.
Charlotte explored different effects on photographs, like splicing and blurred self portraits, layered with a soundtrack of 'agitating' noises, to end up with an installation work.
"To think I did a good enough job to get pre-selected is pretty cool," she said.
Their teacher, Leisel McIlrick, said it was an impressive achievement to have two through to the next stage of Art Express selection, especially during such a challenging year.
"It's been a hard year for all of Year 12 students, but this subject really does demand a lot of you, from the time commitment and personally as well," Ms McIlrick said.
Calrossy's Callum Cutler built a three dimensional box and used symbols, photoshop and other tools to form a truly unique body of work.
"It's looking at consumerism and looking at the bible as a way to communicate the idea that we're very infatuated and obsessed with it in society ... I used social media and symbols to convey that message as well," he said.
"Art has always been the escape from different things and it's been really fun to do."
He said hundreds of hours had gone into putting the artwork together, and some of those were done during the COVID-19 shutdown.
"My teacher was stoked, he couldn't believe it, and he's been there with me the whole way, so all credit to him, I couldn't have done it without him," the student said.