Mount Gambier student tops her art

AWARD WINNER: Mount Gambier's Sophie Couldrey will continue with her artwork after receiving the Australian Education Union SACE Art Show award for her piece Touched.

Charlotte Varcoe

AFTER following a passion for art since primary school, Grant High School’s Sophie Couldrey has received a state-of-the-art award.

Ms Couldrey received the Australian Education Union SACE Art Show award for her work ‘Touched’ which was based on the Nanjing Massacre of 1937.

The young artist built a samurai-inspired sculpture out of aluminium with a co-artwork textile dress.

She said the samurai represented the conflict of the massacre while the dress signified the children affected by the conflict.

Finishing the project as part of her Year 11 SACE, Ms Couldrey will now complete her final year of school through an apprenticeship at Hyland Fox Designs.

Speaking with The Border Watch, the young artist said the initial summary for her Year 11 project was to produce artwork based on something personal to them.

“A lot of people chose mental health issues but I wanted to do something different and decided to go down my own path and indulge in my interest in history,” Ms Couldrey said.

“When I was researching it, I found out there was a lot of conflict and abused children which is why I decided to go with the two pieces together.”

After doing extensive research, Ms Couldrey said she wanted to “go big or go home” with the project.

Working on the project across the weekends, she banged out the foil which was based around a mannequin to make the sculpture look smooth.

“I wanted it to look a particular way and originally I wanted to use wire but then I found the aluminium sheets and thought that would be better,” Ms Couldrey said.

“When I was putting it together I thought I should either go big or go home and just do it to the best of my ability and because it was such a large scale I was able to put in so much more detail as well.”

Happy with how the overall project turned out, the young artist said she was now looking towards her future as a graphic designer.

“Moving forward I am going to continue working on my graphic design work while also having the ability to do art on the side,” she said.

“I really enjoy graphic design because there are not many other jobs where you can straight out do art and get paid for it and it also allows me to do stuff on the side if I want to as well.”

Ms Couldrey’s major art pieces will be on display in Adelaide or online at the SACE website.