Graduate artists are usually referred to as ’emerging artists’, and while this means to become known in the art world, it is more like emerging from the cocoon of the sheltered university environment. Life as an emerging artist is marked by years of shows in small galleries and artist run initiatives (ARIs), many exhibition and grant submissions (mostly rejected) and one long challenge to whether it is all worthwhile. Fortunately, I managed to skip at least some of that when I was nominated by my university, and accepted, for the annual national graduate student exhibition held by the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA) in May of 2015. The exhibition, Hatched:2015, is in its 24th year and is the only national graduate exhibition. What an amazing experience it has been. 35 artists from 22 art schools across the country; a diversity of people, ideas and mediums; and a top-notch gallery team to guide us through this major national show.
The work I exhibited was The Bell Buoy from last year and the space I was given was perfect. The work looked great, especially on the huge 4m x 3m screen.
Some of the fabulous works from my fellow hatchlings.
Amongst all this great work I was humbled to be awarded the prize associated with the show, the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize, valued at $35,000, and am now a Schenberg Fellow, of all things.
The judges commented that the work:
“displayed a power in its simplicity and a sense of autobiography and a deep knowledge about a place, but without sentimentality. The three main elements of his video, light, sound and sculpture installation collectively envelop the viewer, creating a “device of wonder”. On seeing the work the judges felt an immediate urge to see more by this artist.”
Who could have predicted this 4 years ago? What started as a hobby has turned into a passion and been recognised as something special. Suitably chuffed : )