Sarah Anstee's artwork selected for Artexpress exhibition

Recognised: Sarah Anstee's artwork has been selected for the Artexpress exhibition which showcases exemplary artworks by visual arts students. Picture: Simon Bennett

Recognised: Sarah Anstee's artwork has been selected for the Artexpress exhibition which showcases exemplary artworks by visual arts students. Picture: Simon Bennett

In his 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success, author Malcolm Gladwell popularised the concept of the 10,000-hour rule: the number of hours of practice needed to become an expert at something.

He also noted natural ability was also necessary to acquire mastery of a skill.

Using that criteria, Fairfield Heights resident Sarah Anstee is well on her way to joining the elite when it comes to art. 

To finally see it complete was amazing.

Sarah Anstee

The 17-year-olds HSC visual arts major work titled the Fray was selected as an exemplary masterpiece to showcase at Sydney Olympic Park’s Artexpress at the Armory exhibition from March 13.

Her artwork features six pieces of artwork (two in charcoal, ink and pencil) which together totaled more than 300 hours of time to complete in a four-month period.

The piece is extremely personal.

It features drawings of family members from both sides of her Australian and Vietnamese family and shows the differences in culture and the tensions between two different families.

And in the middle are children.

“It visualises the way children become the link between two diverse families. The dual meaning of fray is represented in the literal unravelling of the rope and a metaphorical situation of intense conflict, where there is a struggle to resolve differences,” she said.

“As teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, we begin to stray from the initial thread and create our own, stretching and blooming in all directions.”

Drawing has always been a passion but not always a reality for Sarah.

She started tracing things as a child but they didn’t always turn out.

A few oil painting lessons sparked her passion and when she started at Prairiewood High School she developed her talent further until a lack of people meant there were no art classes for two years.

She returned to art in year 11 and by her senior year had a vision for her major work.

“To finally see it complete was amazing,” she said.

“I was very excited to be selected for Artexpress. I was shocked. I was just happy to be nominated.”

Sarah is preparing to study architecture at university. In the meantime she has been fine-tuning her skills with her trusty headphones in listening to jazz music. 

10,000 hours will arrive in no time.