Watermelon House in the City

Amani Faqihah Binti Azlan

Year 11
School: Willetton Senior High School
Medium: Oil paint on canvas

Artist statement: Being accustomed to landscapes dominated by modern constructions, we tend to look past the subtle beauty that lies within the city. From afar, the red and green of the pagoda archway might remind someone of a watermelon. However, when studied up close, the elaborate traditional structures of the archway make it worlds apart from the mundane concrete and glass buildings surrounding it.

Watermelon House in the Citydepicts the pagoda archway located in Chinatown, Perth. Having migrated to Australia in mid-2018, the archway serves as my personal haven, a beguiling reminder of home: Malaysia. I also feel a twinge of cultural pride as I see it, similar to the feeling that Grace Cossington Smith must have felt as she painted the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Inspired by the qualities and personal messages of Cossington Smith’s art, I have imitated her short, dappled brushstrokes to convey a sense of wistful celebration. I also incorporated vivid colours common in digital illustrations, which are my primary influence when it comes to compositions that convey a deep message.

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