As soon as Ashleigh McCullough has a pencil in hand, it’s clear she has an absolute knack for art.
Her ability, ambition and incredible talent all translate perfectly onto the page, a skill that is strikingly evident in her HSC Visual Art Body of Work. In fact, her work has been selected for ArtExpress, a state-wide series of exhibitions which showcases the best of NSW’s Higher School Certificate Bodies of Work.
For her final art assessment, Ashleigh produced an amazing collection of work focussing on animal conservation. Each drawing portrays an endangered species, while cleverly incorporating the things that threatened their existence.
One work shows a sea turtle swimming in the foreground, while a plastic bag floats beneath it. Another displays a tiger with hunting guns skilfully integrated into its fur.
“I wanted to do my major on animal conservation, that was my original idea, and the concept just sort of developed from there,” Ashleigh said, noting that her art teacher, Mrs French, was of huge help in the conceptualisation of the body of work.
“It’s something I’m passionate about and I’ve always gravitated towards it.”
Different techniques were used for each piece, demonstrating Ashleigh’s versatility and high level of skill. From a pencil sketch to white charcoal and even a scratchboard style image, her project took over a hundred hours to complete. And it was well worth the work.
“I was hoping that maybe I’d get selected for the ArtExpress but I didn’t have any expectation,” the humble student said.
“I received an email last week saying my art had been chosen and I was really excited. My family was really excited too.”
And for good reason - being selected for the ArtExpress is a massive achievement which can lead to many opened doors for budding artists. Ashleigh, her family, friends and school community are all extremely proud of her fantastic result.
Looking to continue to develop her artistic skills, Ashleigh is hoping to get into a Natural History degree at the University of Newcastle in 2018. Though for now, she is just relieved to be finished the HSC.