Katoomba High's Ivy Riddle has been included in this year's ARTEXPRESS exhibition

The artwork of a Katoomba High student has been selected to appear in the prestigious ARTEXPRESS 2022 exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney.

Ivy Riddle's Within Passing, a video work, was selected among 43 pieces from 8440 student works from across the state. Now in its 39th year, ARTEXPRESS is an annual showcase of the works of Visual Arts HSC students, and will be exhibited at the famous old gallery from February 3 to April 25.

Within Passing is a short film with an experimental bent and no dialogue that, Ivy says, "is about a ghost who isn't quite in the afterlife, but also isn't alive anymore, and in the end is sort of set free. It's supposed to be ambiguous, so that people can take what they want from it.

"I've always been interested in the afterlife and ideas around that, and [the work] is inspired by some of my favourite films."

Those favourites include films that address supernatural themes such as the 2017 movie A Ghost Story by David Lowery, and the classic 1975 Australian film directed by Peter Weir, Picnic at Hanging Rock.

It's supposed to be ambiguous - people can take what they want from it.

Ivy Riddle

Ivy's art teacher, Melissa Grahovac, nominated her work for ARTEXPRESS without her knowledge.

"I don't think she was allowed to tell me," said the 18-year-old. "I was very shocked when I found out I had gotten in. I was over the moon, as it was my first time making a film."

As well as paying tribute to her teacher, Ivy also saluted Katoomba High generally.

"Our school is not an overly funded school, so [getting selected] was really through the support of my teachers and how good they are at their jobs. It was a nice victory for our school."

Another crucial presence in Ivy's development as an artist has been her father, well-known and award-winning Blue Mountains artist and author Tohby Riddle.

"He's always been very supportive and encouraged me, and I think that's given me a lot of drive," said Ivy. "When I was little I was always writing books.

"My mum also worked in the film industry so I have a solid base of support to explore all of this - otherwise I don't think I would have had the confidence to say 'I'm going to do a film'."

As for the future, Ivy says that in 2022 she has plans to create two more short films - "in an arthouse style" - and ultimately to get into the National Art School to study film and photo media.