Amazing Artist

The art world is highly competitive, and it is not every day that students are acknowledged for their fabulous talents in this industry. However, we are incredibly proud and excited to share that the work of one of our Year 12 ATAR Art students, Rebecca, has been selected as one of only 30 finalists who entered the Lester Prize Youth Award Competition. This popular portrait prize is open to all high school students across Australia from school years 7 to 12, and attracted entries from more than 170 aspiring artists from across Australia this year.

Rebecca's piece, "I'm Only Joking", was painted as part of her Year 11 ATAR Art course in 2022; the small self-portrait is painted mainly in red and adorned with horns, symbolising the goat.

Rebecca's artist statement:

I'm Only Joking

This painting is a self-portrait depicting me with goat horns. As someone who was born with ginger hair, I was made aware throughout my childhood that in medieval times gingers were claimed to be witches or symbolic of Satan, and as a result, were burnt at the stake. Unfortunately, people with my hair colour still receive verbal and sometimes physical harassment and then dismiss it as friendly banter and a joke. This should act as a friendly reminder that saying an offensive statement about appearance, race, gender, or sexuality and then following up with "I'm Only Joking" is not an excuse, and it is still harassment.

As a school, we regularly enter our students' artwork into the Lester Prize, and this year we submitted three entrants. However, this is the first time one of our students has been selected as a finalist in this prestigious competition.

Formally the Black Swan Portrait Prize, the Lester Prize is WA's most lucrative portrait prize, with the adult award prize pool worth $110,000. There is an adult prize and a youth prize. The winners will be announced at the opening presentation night on 27 April. The exhibition of the youth finalists' work will be held at the WA Museum Boola Bardip from 7 April – 16 July, where you can view Rebecca's piece.

You can discover more about the Lester Prize here: