The contrast of the neon orange of traffic cones against a mountainous landscape will help a Stratford student in their studies next year.
Rhiannon Higgs from Taranaki Diocesan School for Girls in Stratford is the winner of the George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship 2019, for her artwork titled Curved Reality 2019. The scholarship is managed by NPDC's Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.
Curved reality, her year 13 photography folio board, was inspired by the way traffic cones stand out in the landscape, she says.
" I noticed the striking contrast of its neon orange colour lined with reflective stripes against the mountainous landscape. My folio board is about discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary – to slightly curve the reality we see. To do this, I abstracted the cone to its most fundamental roots – in form and colour. By blurring the photographs the cone it becomes an extension of the landscape, which is still grounded in structural lines. These abstracted photographs were printed double sided on a piece of card which I then curved into both the shape of a cone and the soft rolling hills. A reality that has been curved by imagination."
It isn't the first time Rhiannon has been inspired by colour.
Her year 12 photography folio board used a blue dress as the inspiration.
"Last year, my photography folio board was based on the architecture of clothing, inspired by the structural folds of a blue dress. By printing out an abstracted photograph of the folds of a dress, I folded the paper along the folds to create a self-supporting structure, representing the strength of femininity. Then, printed on silk, the photograph became an extension of the dress itself – an abstracted reality that ripples in the wind."
The George Mason Visual Arts Scholarship helps a Year 13 student studying the visual arts at a Taranaki secondary school to continue their visual arts study at a tertiary level.
The $3000 scholarship is awarded to the winning student on proof of enrolment in a visual arts tertiary education course.
Rhiannon is planning to study design at Massey University next year, she says.
"I am planning to study Design, which in my first year will include Photography, Spatial Design, Fashion Design and Textile Design. I will focus on sustainability and creativity of design, while continuing to find the extraordinary within the everyday."
Taranaki has helped inspire Rhiannon through the years she has studied photography, as well as the work of abstract expressionists such as Rothko.
"Throughout my photography I have been inspired by the folded structure of Aliki Braine's photography and the architecture of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Centre, the soft blocks of colour in Mark Rothko's paintings and the linear blurred landscapes of Uta Barth."