Former Sacred Heart College student Kya Joe pictured with her NCEA Level 3 Photography portfolio that has been featured in the Top Art exhibition.

SHC student's art featured in national exhibition

Published on Thursday, 4 March 2021, 7:57 a.m. Print Article

Seeing the very work she pored over for hours last year highlighted at a national level was “surreal” for former Sacred Heart College student Kya Joe.
The 18-year-old, who finished her final year of high school in 2020, has had her NCEA Level 3  Photography portfolio featured in the Top Art exhibition - an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year.
Kya is one of 67 artists whose work has been chosen. Their works will be on display in Wellington until March 5, when they will be split into two tours travelling the country.  
“I didn’t expect how important being in the Top Art exhibition could feel. The amount of recognition and talent displayed was amazing and being up there amongst some of the best artworks produced in 2021 is a dream come true,” Kya said.
As someone who was “just trying to pass”, Kya says it came as a shock to even have achieved an Excellence endorsement in the subject, let alone to be featured. 
Her portfolio titled ‘Confined Fragility’ was inspired by the Covid-19 lockdown in March last year and the feeling of being trapped. 
In a way, she says her portfolio “dramatises” the feelings she felt during Covid-19.
“One of my biggest fears is being confined and having no control over my own actions.
A simple brainstorm sparked the ideas of suffocation, the loss of freedom, people and the fragility I experienced during this pandemic. I thought expressing vulnerability through confinement would make for a perfect starting point.”
Her photography teacher Mrs Ashton Jamieson helped with materials and different techniques. 
“My first board was more textural and simpler. I liked the idea of capturing and layering materials and towards my second and third boards the use of glad bags and paper captured confinement perfectly.”
She has begun her Bachelor of Arts majoring in Criminology and Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington. 
The achievement – the first in Sacred Heart College’s history - has made her former school “incredibly proud”. 
Mrs Jamieson said they have always seen her talent, and potential, and hoped it will show her just what she is capable of, and more. 
Each year she takes her Level 3 students to the Top Art exhibition when it visits Hawke’s Bay, as it provides an opportunity for students to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve excellence in the subject.
“I always say we haven’t been lucky enough to have a Sacred Heart Girl featured. We got the news right after I said that to the class, so I had to turn around and say finally.” 
Despite the challenges of Covid-19, Mrs Jamieson said it was one of the best years for the subject, with all students either achieving a Merit or Excellence endorsement. 
For more information about the exhibition visit:

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