2023 Bellas Visual Art Bursary


​​We are proud to announce the 2023 recipients of the Peter and Julie Bellas Visual Art Bursary. Congratulations to Year 12 students Lily Cai, David Donovan and Imogen Mills. 

The Peter and Julie Bellas Visual Art Bursary was established in 2007 and is awarded annually to three Year 12 students who aspire to pursue Visual Arts study beyond high school.

Pictured: 2023 Peter and Julie Bellas Visual Art Bursary Recipients – Imogen Mills, David Donovan and Lily Cai​

Comments from the Judges – Mr Bob Lingard and Mr Josh Milani

We were delighted by the high standard of this year's Bellas Bursary entrants. All seven students who submitted were committed and articulate. They spoke about their work in an intelligent and eloquent manner. 

As a result, it was extremely difficult to decide on the three recipients of the award. All of them seem potentially worthy for different reasons, but in the end we were satisfied with our decision on three outstanding students who will be offered the 2023 bursary. 

Pictured: 2023 Peter and Julie Bellas Visual Art Bursary Nominees – David Donovan, Rachel Zhao, Francis Lau, Imogen Mills, Lily Cai​, Stella Hong and Arianna Hyytinen

Lily Cai’s Untitled (what would Basquiat say?) is a conceptually sophisticated body of work. We were impressed by Lily’s ability to critique the commercialisation of an artist’s practice through its transformation into merchandise. The painting on the objects is beautifully rendered and convincing in its execution. Her analysis of the tensions in the art-world is astute. This is a fine project which exemplifies talent for her two main areas of interest: visual arts and design. 

David Donovan’s photographic work Triptych is an intelligent work of photographic composition. Using digital image making combined with photography, David has produced an image that is designed to address human isolation and technological connectivity through its complex composition. This is a thoughtful, poetic and resolved work. 

Imogen Mills’ expressive painting Crawling Out of Control is an impressive and visceral depiction of emotional torpor. The image of the figure is beautifully rendered and the horror of the centipede conjoining at its spine is convincingly portrayed. The work has an element of surrealist or gothic aesthetics, similar to the exceptional Australian painter Louise Hearman. This is a well resolved work, aesthecally and conceptually. 

All the other students were noteworthy for different reasons. Stella Hong impressed with her modular figurative painting. Rachel Zhao is a talented painter with intriguing ideas. Arianna Hyytinen has a compelling curiosity in bridging art with scientific concepts. Francis Lau is an intelligent student who impresses with his capacity for making sculpture, sound and film. Each of them have much to contribute.

We commend the Arts Department for nurturing such an impressive group of students. To all the students, you have all made impressive, thoughtful work. We hope you continue your engagement with art, and we wish you well into the future.​

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Last reviewed 18 October 2023
Last updated 18 October 2023