Master blaster

• Corpus Christi student Janice Valentina (right) with Sisi Ingenere, the subject of her portrait Redefining Beauty. Photo supplied.

A PORTRAIT which drew inspiration from Baroque master Vermeer but challenges modern notions of beauty has won the top prize at the 17th annual Atwell Youth Awards.

Corpus Christi College year 12 student Janice Valentina’s portrait of Rwandan-born schoolmate Sisi Ingenere captured the judges’ eye for being “exquisitely radiant”.

Valentina said she chose a portrait style similar to those used by the old masters when they’d received a commission.

Renaissance era

“These classical paintings usually have white aristocracy as the subjects. I however wanted to use a dark-skin toned Rwandan girl with different features and proudly represent her natural hair in order to undermine what the Renaissance era was trying to achieve,” Valentina said.

“I want to demonstrate a different kind of beauty that has long been unrepresented.”

The awards, announced two weeks ago, have become so popular that the Melville Community Arts Association had to shift the presentation ceremony from its gallery at Atwell House to the bowls club next door. There had been 250 entries from 15 metropolitan schools.

Other winners included: Ruby Bennier, Finlay Gobby and Amy Trieu from Perth College in the themed category for Tasmanian Devil, Whaleshark and Koala on Scratchboard; year 7 went to Melville Senior High School students for the group ceramic exhibit Coral Collective; year 8 was Madeleine Peterson from All Saints for Scratched Self Portrait; year 9 was Keira Cullen from Perth Modern with Self Portrait with Skull; year 10 was Taite O’Neill from Santa Maria for Spanish Still Life – Skull & Vase of Ivory; year 11 was Max De-Vries from Corpus Christi with Dark Vision; and, year 12 was Karrina Cain from John Wollaston with Surrounded by all my Friends.

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