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Headspace 10

Self/reflections

Thursday 9 September until Sunday 7 November 2010

Headspace 10 is a national, secondary school art exhibition from all states and territories exploring the theme, Self/reflections, through portraiture. Headspace 10 celebrates a decade of the Headspace project at the National Portrait Gallery.

The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira
The Precasso Armoured Butterfly, 2010 by Alicia Mozqueira

Headspace 10 is a national secondary student exhibition exploring the possibilities of portraiture through painting, drawing, photography, sculpture and film. The artists investigate likeness, enact documentary, embellish appearance and use dress, poses and props to convey their position within their group and more broadly within society. The tradition of signaling relationships within family and friendship groups continues through portraits exploring gender, culture, social issues and sexuality. Many of the artists have experimented with technique and style, at times referencing well-known artists' work. Headspace 10 offers the opportunity to reflect and perhaps reconnect with the life and experience of secondary school students.

The National Portrait Gallery invited visual art teachers nationwide to explore with their students the theme self/reflections. Studio thinking and discovering the possibilities of portraiture provide experiences for students that they are unable to obtain in other ways. The theme was deliberately inclusive and challenging to extend students' thinking and the creation and selection process was not driven by assessment criteria. Teachers were asked to submit up to six works per school which demonstrated experimentation and investigation of the theme. From the 700 submitted portraits an exhibition group of 100 were selected.

Drawing in all its forms underlies many of the works in this exhibition. Within the exhibition the National Portrait Gallery has designed a drawing space to connect visitors of all ages and abilities with the ideas of the exhibition through looking, discussing, reflecting, creating and presenting drawing.

This exhibition celebrates ten years of the Headspace project at the National Portrait Gallery. Underpinning Headspace is the belief that portraiture is a valuable, potent and relevant art form through which students can explore aspects of themselves and those who mean most to them.

We thank the students and their teachers for their contribution to this exhibition.