Britney’s Work Selected for NZQA ‘Top Art’ Exhibition

26 Feb Britney’s Work Selected for NZQA ‘Top Art’ Exhibition

Pictured: Britney Saywell and Julie Woodward, Head of Arts Faculty

The paintings of Britney Saywell, who graduated in 2020, have been selected for inclusion in the NZQA ‘Top Art’ exhibition.

Top Art is an annual touring exhibition featuring a selection of the NCEA Level 3 portfolios that achieved Excellence in Visual Art in the previous year. Five streams are covered: design, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture.

The exhibition provides an opportunity for secondary students and teachers to gain an understanding of what is required to achieve Excellence at Level 3. It also allows members of the public to see the high quality art being created in schools.

Britney, who will be continuing her studies at AUT, is extremely passionate about her craft, describing her need to express herself through her art as being “essential” to who she is.

She has written the following piece to illustrate the inspiration and subject matter for her folio:

“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you’” – Exodus 3:14.

I have used my Painting as a tool to visualize the discussion around the inseparable connection between God, The Land and Humanity.  Existing interest in a biblical viewpoint and a love of the Land, paired with a deep spiritual understanding of how powerful landscape can be due to the history it possesses. I have worked to establish and build up a series of works that continue to ask the question, ” Who is God?” 

Homage to Colin McCahon must be recognized for he has, in a way, guided me to this place. 

Progressing throughout the year, I began to manipulate the perspective within the land, the horizon line, figuratively and literally. Perspective within a landscape painting is brought to life through colour, line, gesture and light. Each aspect having a part to play in order to represent the aerodynamics of a three dimensional, curved world. Coming to the final works on my folio I have completely let go of all perspective and for good reason too. No longer is the landscape viewed up to the horizon line but the artwork aims to represent God, as he sees beyond what we see, He sees beyond the curvature of the earth. I call this “Revolving Space.” A very intentional gesture that doesn’t even come close to what God’s perspective may be. 

I have written the following poem as a way to conclude the overwhelming yet intriguing theme of faith in God that I have pushed and pulled throughout the production of my Folio Board:


Poem: ‘River’ 

By Britney Saywell

“In utter awe I feel the rivers that run through the crevices of my hand. 

They carry a conviction which seeks to consume me.


My every thought is as steady as these rivers passing in front of me. 

In retrospect one would not describe a river to be steady, 

instead to refer to water as restless, surging and barreling at pace untamable.

Though it is this constant rush of the river that remains steady, 

creating a water to which I will not sink in; 

rather I will be swept to the direction of its fury.

These encompassing thoughts, leading me to an open end.”



Instagram: @britneysaywell

If you can't find what you are looking for on this website, or if you want to contact us directly for a specific reason, please feel free to use this 'Parent Help Desk' form to contact us. The appropriate person will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours from Monday to Friday.
Parent Help Desk
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.