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Exhibition showcases top student artworks


Eight art and design students representing metropolitan and country South Australia have received top honours in the 2024 SACE Art Show.

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Environmental concerns, Dreamtime, societal beauty standards, mental health and family connection were the inspiration behind the award-winning works by students from the Coorong through to Adelaide and Clare Valley.

One of the largest secondary school art and design exhibitions in the State, the SACE Art Show features the works of 130 students from last year’s class of more than 1350 Stage 2 SACE Visual Art and Design students.

Among the award winners was 17-year-old Mary MacKillop College student Melani Matulin who won the Adelaide Central School of Art Award for ‘The Erosion Within’, a large scale, six-piece body of work created using mixed media.

Melani Matulin and ‘The Erosion Within’

Melani Matulin’s ‘The Erosion Within’

“My theme was dysmorphia,” Melani said. “In a society with unrealistic beauty standards for women, I wanted to showcase the ever-changing perception of one’s self-image when suffering with the illness, inviting viewers to engage with the piece and confront their own image.”

Melani said she has always been drawn to creativity.

“Art was the one subject for me where I truly felt free to work at my own pace and produce work which reflects my own thoughts and emotions.”

Melani’s plans for the future are sure to turn frowns upside down.

“I hope to become an orthodontist with my own practice where I can help to improve other people’s smiles and confidence, just like it did for me. Dentistry is very hands on and technique-based which I believe aligns with my love for the arts and helping others.”

Loreto College student Cici Liu was also praised for her work. Cici won the Eckersley’s Art and Craft Encouragement Award for ‘Production Line’, a multimedia on canvas creation which took inspiration from the cover of author Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People.

Cici Liu's piece ‘Production Line’.

Cici Liu’s piece ‘Production Line’.

“The theme was on human relationships,” Cici said.

“People stick together like sardines, desperate to fit in the crowd, afraid to be alienated by society. My creative process was quite chaotic, my ideas kept shifting and I kept making changes. I had no idea how my work would turn out until it was finished.”

Cici, who is inspired by artists Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat, will study Fine Arts at University of the Arts in London.

To view the online exhibition go to


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