Mandurah student artist's print picked for Pulse Perspectives exhibition

One of Mandurah's most talented young artists has been featured in this year's Pulse Perspectives exhibition at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

Sophie Allen's year 12 visual arts project is among 46 works picked by a team of three judges to be included in the exclusive display for 15-21 year olds.

The former Frederick Irwin Anglican School student submitted her lino print The Ripple Effect, after working on it for a whole semester in her ATAR arts class.

Ms Allen said she was inspired by printmaker Barbara Hanrahan after completing a case study on the Australian artist.

"Hanrahan does a lot of stuff on empowering women and gender roles in society so I incorporated that influence into the piece," she said.

"We had to focus on ourselves and how we effect the environment around us or how the environment effects us.

"Around my piece there are crabs and shells reflecting Mandurah as my environment, especially because I live so close to the beach and my family love to surf."

I was so surprised because I didn't think that I was that talented.

Sophie Allen

The 18-year-old used recurrent circular lines to symbolise the ripple effect of individual actions on the environment.

From the design process to printing and carving, the process took a number of months before Ms Allen said she was happy with the finished piece.

"My art teacher guided me through the process because I hadn't done lino printing as in depth as that before," she said.

"I ended up making it a lot larger than I initially thought.

"From making the piece, it probably took a month or two to carve the lino and then a couple of weeks to do all the prints because I did it on a variety of different mediums - I played around with hand colouring and water colours as well."

Now studying occupational therapy at Curtin University, Ms Allen said she was "blown away" to learn her hard work had been recognised at Pulse Perspectives.

"I've been doing art since I was very little. I used to go to the Falcon eLibrary to do art classes there leading up to high school with my friends," she said.

"At school we would go on excursions to the Art Gallery to go and view the Perspectives exhibitions.

"It was always so cool to see the amazing work that people can come up with - there's a lot of very talented people.

"I was so surprised because I didn't think that I was that talented."

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Previously referred to as Year 12 Perspectives, the exhibition has undergone a makeover of its own this year to better reflect what it stands for - gauging the pulse of young people who will influence, empower and shape the world we live in.

The works span a variety of subject matter and media ranging from painting and drawing to sculpture, digital moving image, photography and textiles.

Many of the pieces explore topics like international, national and personal political issues, our impact on and neglect of the environment, connections to family and gender politics.

Art Gallery of WA director Stefano Carboni said the fresh approach to the exhibition was part of a broader strategy to engage teenagers.

"Today's younger generations have grown up in a digital world, a conflicted world, a connected world, an unstable world," he said.

"They are engaged, politically aware, and eager to participate and contribute to the social and cultural discourse.

"They are impacted by this world and at the same time they are its agents of change.

"It is time to create a meaningful platform that connects with these teens and young adults in their world. It is a way of seeing the world through the eyes of our talented youth."

Pulse Perspectives is on display at the Art Gallery of WA from Saturday, April 6 to Monday, July 22.

Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite work in the 2019 Act-Belong-Commit People's Choice award, open until July 14.

The artist with the most votes will receive an Art Gallery membership and $100 gift shop voucher.

To keep up with all the latest from Sophie Allen, follow her art account on Instagram.

For more information about the Pulse Perspectives exhibition, to view the Art Gallery of WA's opening hours or to listen to the audio tour, visit the AGWA website.