Young artist Julia Hernon draws a path to Artexpress national exhibition

JULIA Hernon’s journey to ARTEXPRESS began on what seemed like an otherwise ordinary day, when she was sitting underneath the oriental grapevine outside her bedroom.

‘‘I had always been interested in bees and found them fascinating to watch,’’ she said.

‘‘I was watching them interacting with each other, dancing up to to each other and thought about how they are such a massive part of our ecosystem.

AWARENESS: Julia Hernon whose work has been selected for Art Express. Part of the inspiration of her final body of work was the bees around the grapevine at her home. Picture by SIMONE DE PEAK.

AWARENESS: Julia Hernon whose work has been selected for Art Express. Part of the inspiration of her final body of work was the bees around the grapevine at her home. Picture by SIMONE DE PEAK.

‘‘It formed from there.’’

The Lambton High student had shown a budding artistic talent ever since she was a child, blossoming under the tutelage of her pyrography artist grandmother, painter grand aunty and pencil drawing mother.

Julia’s major work Bee Aware is four freehand drawings with ink fine art pen, depicting a person in a beekeepers costume in a series of different situations.

‘‘I’m really happy, I was really surprised but really glad,’’ she said of being selected for the annual exhibition of exemplary artworks created by Higher School Certificate Visual Arts students.

‘‘Hopefully it will help to raise awareness of bees; they’re a massive part of our ecosystem, pollinating lots of our plants and vegetables, and they’re being undermined.’’

Fittingly, Julia hopes to study a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management at the University of Newcastle next year, but said she will always retain art, like the matriarchs of her family, as a hobby.

‘‘Coming home and doing this major work after school was almost like meditation,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s always relaxing to get a bit of time out to sit down and draw – you can take it anywhere with you too.’’

Other students whose works have been selected in the just over 200 pieces for ARTEXPRESS include Alexia Psaltis and Byren Sawell from Hunter School of The Performing Arts, Courtney Walker from Tomaree High School, Emily Burns from Toronto High, Caitlin Reeves from Warners Bay High School and Shanais Staneke from Whitebridge High.

ARTEXPRESS opens at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre in Gymea, Sydney, on February 7 and will also be shown at other venues including the Art Gallery of NSW and Maitland Regional Art Gallery.

HSC students can access their results online or by SMS from 6am Wednesday December 17. Details: www.hscresults.nsw.edu.au.