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STARTS prize !

Excited to announce that the Off Grid project has been awarded a 2018 European Commission STARTS prize in the ‘Nomination’ category.  The award recognises “innovative projects at the interface of science, technology and art”.  Off Grid was completed in 2016. Thirty projects were recognised by the award; the grand prize went to the world’s first 3D printed steel bridge by a team in the Netherlands.

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Graduation day

Five years of study (including a one-year break) and last Friday night I was awarded a First Class Honours degree in Fine Art and the Faculty and University Medals for outstanding achievement.

A hectic but rewarding journey.

Graduation handshake

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emerging, hatched, prized

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.

PICA building

PICA building

My studio chaos, a hive of activity

My studio chaos, a hive of activity

The same chaos everywhere

The same organised chaos everywhere

Opening night - over a 1000 people inside and out - and a major cultural event in Perth.

Opening night, over a 1000 people inside and out

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.

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The end result

Tumbling asteroid image as it is meant to be seen.

Tumbling asteroid image as it is meant to be seen.

Some of the fabulous works from my fellow hatchlings.

1300 paper skeletons reflecting on mass extinction, Symptoms, by Louise Morgan

1300 paper skeletons reflecting on mass extinction, Symptoms, by Louise Morgan

6m long continuous charcoal lines, representing collections of memories in time, Left to Right, by Ljerka Nenadovic

6m long continuous charcoal lines, representing the interplay of memories through time, Left to Right, by Ljerka Nenadovic

Inflated plastic bags in tension with solid objects, ][  2  [n]    by Rachel Schenberg

Inflated plastic bags in tension with solid objects, ][ 2 [n] by Rachel Schenberg

And this amazing animation depicting the religious tale of The Wandering Jew, by Ilya Millstein on Vimeo

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.

Receiving my novelty cheque, with PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard and Dr. Schenberg Trustee Nick Di Lorenzo

Receiving my novelty cheque, with PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard and Dr. Schenberg Trustee Nick Di Lorenzo

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 : )

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