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Students master the art of the arbitrary

By Louise Errington

From left: CDU Bachelor of Visual Arts students Serge Ah-Wong, Emma McClellan, Valanti Patmios, Kate Perren Smith and Liz Grylls From left: CDU Bachelor of Visual Arts students Serge Ah-Wong, Emma McClellan, Valanti Patmios, Kate Perren Smith and Liz Grylls

Puddles of paint and defaced magazine covers were among the art works on show at Charles Darwin University’s Casuarina campus recently.

“Arbitrary Extravaganza: Deconstructing (Im)possibilities” was an exhibition of graduating visual art students’ studio outputs, which dealt with the notions of illusion and a fake world.

Bachelor of Visual Arts graduate Liz Grylls was one of the artists exhibiting her works. She said she borrowed the Situationist International’s strategy of détournement throughout her studio research and practice.

“Détournement is the alteration of an existing media work, which is often antagonistic to the original,” Ms Grylls said. “It was commonly used in the punk movement.

“My battle of discerning appearances from reality in modern media is reflected in my work. What we see on the front cover of a magazine may not necessarily be true, which is the illusion the media can create.”

Her piece, Steinbeck's Warhol, featured 40 magazine covers graffitied with black ink and arranged into a large artwork, spanning 10 metres by four metres.

Ms Grylls, who works as a performance psychologist with the Northern Territory Institute of Sport, said returning to university to pursue a visual arts degree had been a fulfilling experience.

“When I was choosing what to study after high school I was torn between psychology and fine arts,” she said. “It’s nice to have been able to do both.”

Serge Ah Wong, Emma McClellan, Holly Angeles, Valanti Patmios and Kate Perren Smith joined Ms Grylls in showing their works at the exhibition.

Arbitrary Extravaganza: Deconstructing (Im)possibilities was held on Friday October 25 2013 in the Nan Giese Gallery, Building 10, Orange Precinct, CDU Casuarina campus.

CDU’s second year visual arts students also exhibited their works at the Nan Giese Gallery on 1 November as part of a series of weekly exhibitions in the space throughout October and November.