Young artists of Rutherglen Part 2: Meet Molly Wileman and Dharma Kotzur

Arts Rutherglen are thrilled to introduce and showcase 6 local, young artists from Rutherglen High School in the lead up to the 2022 Rutherglen Tastes of Art Prize.  In Part 2 meet Molly Wileman and Dharma Kotzur.

The Rutherglen Tastes of Art Prize Youth Award is open to  all young artists (12- 18 years old) . In 2022, with thanks to the Indigo Shire Council, we are offering 3 Youth Awards of $250 each.

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Molly Wileman

Hi everyone. My name is Molly. I attend Rutherglen High School and am in Year 12. During the two years of my VCE study I have been developing my ideas and skills which enabled me to produce my final resolution.


My paper mache’ puppets are a reflection of myself as a person as well as a journey of self-exploration and acceptance. I combined several traditional and contemporary materials such as acrylic paints, wood, wire and re-purposed objects. Choosing to make a sculptural piece challenged me as I typically focus more on traditional 2D drawings and paintings. I had never used paper mache’ before or worked in a sculptural form and I saw this as an opportunity to broaden my skills.

My artwork focuses on the idea of body image. After suffering from anxiety and body dysmorphia for years, the puppets provided a way for me to express myself in a visual form. They are my way of testing social norms in regards to appearance. The animorphic combination of human and animal features symbolises how we are all different. It is also representative of how animals live to survive, disregarding appearance. I wanted my works to encourage people to think about the principles of acceptance and tolerance and be happy




Dharma Kotzur

My name is Dharma and I am a Year 12 student at Rutherglen High School. Over the year I have produced two major art pieces: “The Sounds of Cicadas” and “Our Protective Layer”. My works speak to the broader concept of words and language as I explored the ideas of auditory, non-verbal and written communication in my two respective artworks. 

As abstract interpretations of the traditional insect shape, “The Sounds of Cicadas” depicts three oversized cicada sculptures varying in colour gradient. Transitioning from brown, to grey, to white, my works represent both the animal’s physical metamorphosis process as well as the ever-evolving nature of language and communication. My sculptures have been constructed by stitching various waxed papers together, layering photographs and written passages, letters and diagrams, drawing inspiration from my home environment during the summer months.




“Our Protective Layer” initially began as a sculptural self-portrait reflecting my passion for the written language but has slowly developed
over the year to tell a different story. Influenced by the last two years, it has been heavily inspired by the language and knowledge of the medical profession. My work consists of tiles – painted in a monochromatic, greyscale palette – printed with various medical terms which are layered around a cage, almost as if they were scales. They present an impenetrable, uniform surface, symbolic of the protective layer medicine has given us during the recent pandemic. Resting atop my ‘body’ rests my head. Despite beginning as a unique interpretation of myself, the monochrome colour scheme  makes my face almost universal.


Young Artists of Rutherglen Part 1: Meet Mara O'Keeffe and Riley Welsh
Up next Young artists of Rutherglen Part 3: Bylee Allison and Josie Beattie - December 19, 2021