Malena Elston Noosa District State High School
Beauty for Beauty's Sake Painting
Diptych - each acrylic paint and gesso on cotton rag paper, unframed


My knowledge of two notoriously materialistic people became symbolic representations of myself: Oscar Wilde contributed to the Aesthetic movement in his writing, which appreciated “Art for art’s sake”. Marie Antoinette’s character falls more in line with hedonism, also resisting utilitarian principles. Obliteration with gesso represents utility overriding beauty and personality in society while the text references Wilde’s neat but cryptic quote (social morals and hypocrisy of his era) and Antoinette’s free-hand misquote (slander) each represent an aspect of their downfall. By defacing each image, my intention is to communicate the damage solely utilitarian views can cause to a society.


I did a lot of drawing and painting of faces in the lead up to the final artworks. Going larger was a major decision. Working on good quality paper was a bonus as well. The final step of obliterating my work with gesso was the most challenging part of the process.


Malena Elston

Malena Elston is a Senior student at Noosa District State High School.