Vanessa Vu

The Growth

Artist Statement

Australian colonial history began with the invasion of indigenous land, triggering a disastrous domino effect on Aboriginal culture and their environment. The notion of introduced diseased and animals affecting the indigenous population is depicted through the visual representation of mould. Their invasive impact is represented in my assemblage through its progressive growth in petri dishes. Colour and texture compel the audience to look closer, questioning the mould’s composition. Australia’s uncomfortable past is reflected through the realistic and repulsive growths, whilst also providing an intriguing perspective on Oxley Creek’s history.

Artwork Process

For my body of work, I was influenced by the growth pattern of fungi. Using a sponge to mimic petri dishes, I sewed numerous materials on to it to create a visual representation of the colours, shapes and textures of mould. The process of my monoprints involved painting watercolour on plastic sheets, utilising watercolour techniques to build layers. They were then printed onto watercolour paper with a printing press. To make a connection between the spread of mould and the colonisation of Oxley Creek, a map allowed me to portray the Europeans taking over certain areas and their movement.

About the Artist

  • Name: Vanessa Vu
  • School: Corinda State High School
  • Artwork: The Growth
  • Media: Mixed media installation of watercolour monoprints and a digital photograph on paper and petri dishes (sponge, wool, cotton)

I’m Vanessa Vu, an 18 year old student at Corinda State High School. I have always found ways to use art as a medium to creatively enhance my everyday life. As a Vietnamese Australian, I’ve experienced struggles with my own identity, which sparked my interest in the concept of identity of place and people. In particular, I enjoyed diving into the history and the land on which my school stands. Art — although created from one perspective — does not have a definite answer, allowing the audience to learn and find different meanings.