People's choice

First-year COFA student Lilian Chia has won the People Choice Award at this year's ArtExpress.

Lilian inside

Lilian Chia, a first-year design student at COFA, has won the People's Choice Award at this year's ArtExpress.

ArtExpress is an annual exhibition of the best student work submitted for the Higher School Certificate examination in Visual Arts in NSW.

Lilian's piece, Shadow Play, was selected as the public's favourite from the exhibition's 75 artworks.

"I was so shocked to think that people favoured mine," says Lilian of her installation piece, which incorporates sculpture, photography and video. The work plays with the idea of appearance and reality. "It's overwhelming and very flattering."

Lilian, who went to Hornsby Girls' High School, says she chose COFA for the broad scope of the Bachelor of Design course.

"There are a lot of options to choose from including textiles, jewellery and ceramics," she says. "I like that I don't have to specialise early and the internship in the final year is good for possible employment."

But for now, the 18-year-old can get on with what she likes doing best: practical work.

"Most of my classes are in the studio, where I'm creating things, which is very enjoyable!"

ArtExpress 2010 has been on show at the Art Gallery of NSW and is currently at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery. See the website for details.