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Perth Modern School student Aliss Nixon McIvor is celebrating after her portrait of a fellow Modernian, Kimberly Sorensen, was selected as one of the 30 finalists from around Australia in the prestigious Black Swan Youth Portraiture Prize.


Aliss, 17, said the oil painting on canvas artwork, titled ‘Venus’, took four days to complete.


“I based the portrait of Kimberly on an amazing photo that had been taken of Kimberly by another Year 11 Mod student, Jubilee Chan.”


“I picked Kimberly because I thought she looked a lot like a modern day incarnation of Venus,” Aliss said.


Aliss said the art work was exploring the modern day theme of female beauty and how it is represented. 


“Venus, the goddess of love and the pinnacle of female beauty, is often depicted nude in her most pure and natural form,” Aliss said.


“I believe in modern day society the pinnacle of female beauty now contains an artificial aspect whether that be in the form of plastic surgery, cosmetics and a facade of unrealistic representations on social media.”


“These contemporary views directly conflict the traditional purity Venus represents. I wanted to convey the natural yet odd incorporation of the unnatural into ourselves and the acceptance of the artificial in women's beauty standards within the 21st Century.”


Aliss said she especially enjoyed portraiture because she found it very interesting to recreate the fine details of faces she see every day.


“I’m not planning a career as an artist at this stage but would like to keep art on the side and see where it takes me.”


Her visual art teacher at Perth Modern School, Sarah Eve, said Aliss had always demonstrated a refined and dedicated approach to the subject.


“Aliss is specific in her medium of oil painting and focus on realistic portraiture,” Ms Eve said.


“She loves to challenge herself which is already evident in her choice of subject matter, but also in the scale of works she chooses to create.”


“She is always very modest and humble when receiving compliments on her work and at times can be quite hard on herself as she has such high standards she wishes to achieve.”


Principal of Perth Modern School Lois Joll said it was wonderful that Aliss’ immense talented for portraiture was being recognised by such a prestigious competition and it was an incredible achievement considering she completed the work when she was only sixteen-years-old.


“I hope Aliss continues on her journey as a very talented artist and we look forward to seeing more amazing art works from her in the future,” Ms Joll said.

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