1 June 2022

2021 graduates finally get to show their wares in ANU exhibition

| Aiden Rothnie
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Saskia Morris with her work 'Arresting The Echo: Acknowledging Loss In The Disembodied Present' at the School of Art and Design Gallery show New Alumni.

Saskia Morris with her work ‘Arresting The Echo: Acknowledging Loss In The Disembodied Present’ at the School of Art and Design Gallery show New Alumni. Photo: Tracey Nearmy.

The Australian National University is holding its first in-person School of Arts and Design Graduates Exhibition since the start of the pandemic.

In 2021 the exhibition was moved online due to COVID-related restrictions which made an in-person event unviable.

So this year, the Australian National University’s 2021 School of Arts and Design graduates have been given the opportunity to show the art they spent their final year working on at a public exhibition.

Titled New Alumni, the exhibition celebrates the School of Arts and Design’s graduates, showing works from 32 of last year’s cohort.

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Maddie Hepner and Saskia Morris are among those who have chosen to have their work presented.

Maddie’s work surrounds the concept of the American dream, while Saskia chose to create a work based on loss and empathy.

Saskia said being a part of the grad show was the number one thing on everyone’s mind as an artist.

“It’s how you interact with the community and get your name out there,” she said.

“We’re all super grateful that, even though it was delayed, the gallery and student body worked together so we could have this experience.”

Maddie Hepner alongside her art piece 'Constant Reassurance'

Maddie Hepner alongside her art piece ‘Constant Reassurance’. Photo: Supplied.

Both graduates said having an exhibition was a great way to show off the work that they had done.

“It showcases a big achievement from all of us,” Maddie said. “It’s really nice to have something physical that people can go to and see.”

Both Maddie and Saskia discussed the difficulties COVID brought them in their honours year and how it had changed their overall work.

“When we went into lockdown we had to find new ways to adapt and everyone did it in very different ways,” Saskia said.

Maddie said it helped shape the project that she ended up making.

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“It was difficult to go through,” she said. “I was hopeful that I would get studio time for my honours year, and I did, but I also sort of ended up turning my computer into my studio.

“Doing honours is constant research and change, so when people ask what would I have done if we didn’t have COVID I don’t really know what to say,” she said.

The ANU’s New Alumni exhibition will be open until Friday, 1 July, at the School of Arts and Design Gallery on the ANU campus. More details here.

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