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Elise awarded for creative excellence

Elise Dorfler creative excellence award
Excellence in Visual Arts award winner Elise Dorfler pictured with the installation she created with Milbi Festival visitors. Photo: Natasha Harth.

Local emerging artist Elise Dorfler has been awarded for her creative talents in the 2023 Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art.

Elise’s winning artwork will be displayed alongside the other awarded works at the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane from 27 April to 25 August 2024.

Presented by the Queensland Government Department of Education, the awards recognise and promote excellence in senior visual art education throughout Queensland schools.

Bundaberg-born Elise is a Year 12 student at Kepnock State High School and said she felt a huge sense of pride at winning the award.

“I am overjoyed that I have the privilege to showcase my work at GOMA, it is something I never expected for myself, and I am so grateful for this experience,” she said.

Elise’s artwork, Basket Full, is a free-standing dress made from second hand, recycled and found wooden and woven baskets.

She said she liked using everyday found objects which she could remodel into something entirely different than their original form, gifting them a new meaning and purpose.

Basket Full is a tribute to the waste which humans leave and create,” she said.

Elise Dorfler artwork
Elise with her winning work ‘Basket Full'. Photo: contributed.

“It pays homage to the relationship which we have with material items: once we are finished with them, we throw them away.

Basket Full aims to challenge the thinking of the viewers and make them ask questions about their own waste and their own view on material items.

“I also hope to show people that art can be anything we want it to be, even if it doesn’t make sense to everyone.”

Elise found she was most comfortable expressing herself in sculpture compared to other forms of artwork.

“I’ve never really found a reflection of my talent and artistic style in other mediums,” she said.

“Working three dimensional gives me space to actually physically see the process of my work.”

Elise was part of the 5 under 25 group of emerging artists involved in this year’s Milbi Festival, which saw her involved in The Gathering arts takeover of the Bundaberg CBD.

Milbi Festival visitors worked alongside Elise to create an outdoor art installation of jellyfish made from recycled materials.

Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art

The 37 winning students’ works were selected from 459 submissions from 177 schools across the state.

Bundaberg Region student Josie Harris from St Luke's Anglican School also won a Commendation Award for her painting titled nothing.

Minister for Education Grace Grace said the awards highlighted the importance of nurturing artistic talent in Queensland schools.

“The quality of works this year was a testament to the exceptional artistic abilities of Queensland’s secondary school students,” she said.

“The opportunity to have work shown in QAGOMA is once-in-a-lifetime for these aspiring young artists.

“The works also reveal some of the issues and topics young Queenslanders are thinking about including environmental and social problems, cultural identity, health and wellbeing, technology and relationships.”

A digital exhibition of all the submitted entries is available online.

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