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18 February, 2021 Academic

VCE study down to an art – Sybilla George

While 2020 presented its challenges, Sybilla (OM 2020) found her groove studying and creating art, though it wasn’t until her final year at St Michael’s that Sybilla fully realised this passion.

“I’ve always loved drawing and visiting galleries, but art didn’t become a part of my school life until the beginning of Year 12, when I made the decision to swap from Chemistry to Studio Arts, informed by a summer spent doing stencil screen printing with friends.”

When asked about what influences her art and the types of medium she would like to specialise in, Sybilla expressed a desire to explore many different mediums and techniques to build a rationale and aim for her own work.

“Sonia Delaunay has been a major inspiration to me for a long time, particularly her Parisian scenes, luminous paintings and interdisciplinary approach to fine arts and decorative arts. Throughout the year I experimented with a range of intaglio and relief printmaking forms with my favourites ultimately being lino and etching. Relief printing appeals to me for its imbrication of drawing and sculptural qualities, being very hands-on and laborious but producing a 2D artwork.”

Sybilla was excited to receive an early offer last year to study Fine Arts at VCA but is also looking forward to the life-long learning journey that lies ahead.

“Choosing university preferences was much trickier than I expected, ultimately because I know I’d enjoy doing many courses and am so lucky to have lots of options. I am likely going to accept an offer from VCA to study Fine Arts (Visual Arts) in the printmaking and drawing stream and although I’m not sure where this will lead, it will be a great start to tertiary study, which I expect to continue for quite a while.”

Sybilla took on a challenging VCE subject mix including Literature, Studio Arts, Biology, French, Mathematical Methods and Global Politics. Awarded Dux of the School, Sybilla graduated with an outstanding ATAR of 99.75 placing her in the top 0.2% of the state. Sybilla also achieved a perfect study score of 50 in Literature and Studio Arts.

  • VCE study down to an art – Sybilla George
    Sybilla with her peers keeping it COVID-safe
  • VCE study down to an art – Sybilla George
The mix of different subjects allowed me to move between them more swiftly and provided a sense of freshness to studying. The class I most enjoyed oscillated, swinging between all of them. To my surprise I quite enjoyed Biology, which at first, I had struggled to grasp onto the content in a tangible, meaningful way.Sybilla George (OM 2020)

A highlight for Sybilla during her time at St Michael’s was her visit to the Great Barrier Reef, which is part of the Year 10 Enhanced Biology VCE subject.

“Considering the reef’s downward health trajectory, it was incredible to visit parts of the reef that were vibrant and lively despite large bleaching events in consecutive previous years. Staying on Orpheus Island and interacting with the environment in a critical, scientific capacity was such a unique experience that I am unlikely to ever repeat, so it will retain a significant place in my memory of St Michael’s.”

Sybilla’s advice for future VCE students is to put in a consistent effort with the aim of improving steadily over the course of year.

  • VCE study down to an art – Sybilla George
    Sybilla with her classmates at the Great Barrier Reef
  • VCE study down to an art – Sybilla George
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be ‘superhuman’ to do well in VCE. Having unrealistic expectations of being perfect from the beginning is impractical long-term and a bad study week or weekend isn’t going to destroy previous effort. Look after yourself and your friends.Sybilla George (OM 2020)

While Sybilla is looking forward to beginning university and taking time to thoroughly explore art theory and history, she plans to stay connected to St Michael’s. “I am excited to come back to see all the school musicals, particularly Shrek!”

We congratulate Sybilla for all her achievements at St Michael’s and wish her all the very best with her studies and beyond.