Rights of Passage - 2005 competition

Art Competition

What does 'human rights' mean to you? Is there an issue or an image which you automatically think of? How would you draw this, paint this, photograph this?

This was the question we asked you when entering the 'Rights in Perspective' art competition which was held as part of the 'national dialogue' with young people about human rights.

In response, we received paintings, photos, drawings and cartoons. The entries received were engaging and innovative, some depicting the stark images of violation and others offering more hopeful pictures of unity and the promise of something better. It's clear from the diversity of artworks that you are thinking and feeling about human rights in both local and international contexts.

A shortlist of artworks was selected, based on their originality, artistic merit and how creatively they engaged with the idea of human rights. A panel of independent artists and curators selected the winning entries from the shortlist: Robert Dickerson - one of Australia's most recognised figurative artists, Gavin Fry - the incumbent Director of the Newcastle Regional Museum and Ina Koneczna, a freelance consultant with some twenty years of professional experience working with private and public art collections. The winners were announced at the launch of the publication Rights of Passage: A Dialogue with Young Australians about Human Rights on 29 November 2005.

The winner of the Junior Section is Sarah Hollick with her work Child Soldiers - Stolen Innocence. The runner-up in the Junior Section is Jessica Vickery with Surreal.

The winner of the Senior Section is Off to School by Tim Hanna. The joint runners-up in the Senior Section are Sam Shepherd for his two works Minifridge Boy and a broken home - a new home and Taleena Boulton for Fear of Loss.

Our winners received a digital camera each and all of our runners-up were given $50 CD gift vouchers. Congratulations to all of our winners.

The shortlisted works are all reproduced below for you to have a look at, including the winning entries. Thanks to all of you who turned your thoughts into images and sent them on to us.

Shortlist Junior Artworks 11-14

Sarah Hollick, 14, WA WINNER star

Child soldiers - stolen innocence

'The plight of child soldiers around the world - the charcoal used represents how much they are forgotten and their faces aren't shown to represent the abuse and violence they go through.' - Sarah Hollick

Jessica Vickery, 14, NSW RUNNER-UP star

Surreal

'I titled this painting 'surreal' because for some people human rights is just that.' - Jessica Vickery

Matthew Lloyd , 11, NSW

Freedom to refugees

'Refugees from around the world should all be free. Why are they locked up in detention centre like prisoners in jails when they haven't done anything wrong? They have come to our country to escape from their country because something horrible is happening there.' - Matthew Lloyd

Tanya Sinha, 13, QLD

Beneath the cover

Beneath the cover uses text and image to show different ideas about rights and racism. The three ideas combine to symbolise how ideas are stronger when they work together.

Shortlist Senior Artworks 15-17

Tim Hanna, 15, NSW WINNER star

Off to school

An inventive collage where the path to school is flanked by soldiers and tanks.

Sam Shepherd, 16, NSW RUNNER-UP star

Minifridge boy

A vibrant watercolour comic strip exploring the often tragic consequences of bullying.

Sam Shepherd, 16, NSW RUNNER-UP star

a broken home ~ a new home

'Many kids who do come from a broken home, who are abused or whose parents couldn't care less, end up in hostels experiencing detachment and isolation.' - Sam Shepherd

Taleena Boulton, 16, NSW RUNNER-UP star

Fear of loss

A minimalist cartoon depicting children crying and covering their eyes at the sight of soldiers.

Anna Wylie, 16, TAS

Do you still need that new mobile phone?

' Afghan refugee girl with amazing eyes and images of war, abuse, torture and hate done in chalky pastels. The girl is in colour, other images black and white.' - Anna Wylie

Ji Min Park, 16, TAS

Human being

'Gray - nothing in the body. Red line - we can't acquire. Black line - we can get with effort.' - Ji Min Park

Brydie Cromarty, 16, NSW

Lost rights

A shadowy charcoal drawing depicting the unfortunate who have "lost" their human rights.

[Please note: since these essays were written there have been changes made to federal government policy in respect to children immigration detention. For more information see http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media_releases/media05/v05098.htm]