Being invited back to see the Top Arts exhibition certainly made me feel nostalgic. Top Arts is one of those things that you just don’t take for granted, and I’m sure these students don’t. I remember the media demanding that I clear my schedule for one week to book in a guest speech, radio and newspaper interviews with photoshoots on top of that. Once your work is positioned in a public gallery, you can expect to get pampered by the media whether it’s good or bad – that my friends, is not an experience you get everyday. It certainly is daunting yet still a highlight that never ceases to amaze me. The StArtUp: Top Arts 2016 exhibition delves into the creative minds and thinking processes behind rising talents throughout Victoria. Young people tend to have the wildest ideas and applying their creative practices enables them to transform their ideas into a reality, hence the name “StArt Up”. Creative Victoria is a proud supporter of these events, events that justify a good sense of creative thinking and encouraging younger generations to be ambitious. I am proud to be part of an organization that builds on this note. Thanks to them, I’m back here today to witness the upcoming generation of today.
The exhibition is situated in a dynamic contemporary art space at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square. Back in Top Arts 2012, there was no “StArtUp” added to the brand. As our current Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says, science and innovation is key to building better jobs and growth for the world, and by encouraging more startups and businesses under his plan, it’s only right that Top Arts rebrand themselves to “StArt Up: Top Arts” . This builds on a well-earned reputation for being one of the liveliest and most visited exhibitions in the Arts and culture calendar.
One jump the exhibition made is viewing folios on iPads. In previous years viewers get an opportunity to look at the real folios in a special room dedicated to “folio viewing” where all folios are laid out on long tables, and under strict rules we’d have to wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints on the folio sheets. Now there’s no worry about that. These iPads get cleaned every 2 mins by the security – perhaps it’s not a bad idea if we still kept the gloves when looking at the iPads? One issue I had was that the digital folios didn’t have great user interface, in other words, it was tricky swiping from one page to the next and the images aren’t clear on a 9 inch screen. Then again, compiling 50 pages worth of developmental work into a digital folio is quite a job to do. Everything about the new branding of Top Arts is more compact and unorthodox. The layout is wide and narrow with a blend of light and dark lighting. I enjoy visiting these galleries every year and look forward to the next.
Good luck to the next batch of year 12s who are aiming for Top Arts – I strongly comment you for that.