WAGGA artist Jake Doble has seen a semester's worth of hard work come to an end with a meaningful display at Gallery 43.
The gallery at TAFE NSW Wagga campus recently displayed the work of about 10 local artists, some of which coming from Albury.
Doble, a Diploma of Art student, focused on a hard-hitting issue for his body of work.
"My body of work is called Pushed Down the Spiral which looks at how society has driven a lot of young people to do certain things, particularly drug addictions," he said.
"It looks at how society demonises young kids who are addicted to drugs or who have committed illegal acts without looking at why they've actually done it."
While Doble did not take inspiration from a direct personal experience, the world around him was enough to spark the concept.
"People around me and those I've grown up around, especially in rural areas like here in Wagga, have fallen down that spiral, I've seen it happen," the 24-year-old said.
Over the semester, students had to produce a body of work involving research, planning, pulling together a proposal, the art itself and even presentation aspects.
Art teacher Karen Walsh said the process gave students the opportunity to prepare for the future.
"This is a professional gallery to give students the opportunity to display their work in professional manner," she said.
"When they graduate, they are prepared for things like proposals, the installation of their work and the whole presentation process."
Doble's art reflected another key issue affecting society in a way that sparked conversation.
"I've used biblical symbolism in my work, some is quite controversial like for instance my owl painting is a symbol of Satan in a different sense," he said.
"The owl symbolises trickery, owls as a species trick other birds to trap them, which is like what Satan is said to do so I've used that to look at addiction to show that it is a trick, people don't necessarily think of an addiction as something they want to get involved with.
"I've used pages out of the bible and pasted it over the painting to show, for example, how Christian ideologies may be used by people to justify the things they do, particularly in politics."
In other news:
The use of religion in his work was "Not an attack on Christianity, but a symbol".
Ms Walsh said work such as Doble's and the rest of the class' was vital in "Giving art a voice".
"These particular subjects raise questions, it starts a conversation which is why it's so important," she said.
"People can now enroll in some of our courses for next year, we have a new Bachelor of Creative Practice which is the first time the degree program is being offered, then also a Diploma of Art and a Certificate III in Design Fundamentals."