The winners of this year’s 2018 Claremont Art Award were announced last night at the exhibition opening, with a young, self-taught artist taking first place.
Brendan Lewis received the $5,000 prize for his winning piece Astro-Boy,
a large watercolour portrait of his little brother Isaac (11) which will now become part of the Town’s art collection.
Mr Lewis’ artist statement discusses his work, based on a photo taken of Isaac moments before he went into surgery, with the title of paying homage to the Japanese cartoon for which was particularly nostalgic of Mr Lewis’ childhood.
“In 2017 my little brother was diagnosed with AD-HD and this creates difficulties socialising with people because of their lack of ability to understand and empathise with his condition,” Mr Lewis said. “Like Astro-Boy, whilst he’s treated at times like an android, his ability to experience and express human emotions is greater than most humans he interacts with.”
“I wanted this piece to illustrate the love I have for my brother in his ability to express this magical energy as well as being particularly endearing in moments before his operation.”
The judges commended Mr Lewis for the way he handled the medium, highlighting a poignant duality between strength and vulnerability.
“The reference to pop culture’s Astro-Boy opens up a layered interpretation of the work - at first humorous, it unfolds with a more serious side as we learn of the difficulties and strengths that are portrayed in this accomplished work,” noted the Judges. “We are all touched by the alienated individuals who can challenge us and contribute to the kaleidoscope of the community.”
Second prize of $2,500 was awarded to Silvana Ferrario for her three dimensional piece, Twill
. Inspired by her mother’s textile skills, the technical expertise in this sculptural piece is impressive. The judges said the piece was beautifully crafted with subtle colours and organic form.
The $1,500 third place winner was Dave Wolfy with his piece, Concave
, which judges noted was an interesting contrast between strong architectural shapes and organic forms.
Claremont Local category, for entrants who reside within the Town of Claremont was awarded to Jen Mellor for her piece The Circle of Life, Lake Claremont
. Judges noted Ms Mellor’s piece as a sensitive connection to a familiar local place.
The Councillors’ Art Prize, a new prize for an artwork chosen by the Town’s Councillors, was given to Lyn Franke’s textile piece Plight of the Carnaby’s.
Town of Claremont Mayor Jock Barker congratulated all the exhibited artists and the winners for their outstanding artworks.
“This is a celebration of creativity and culture and I encourage you all to promote the exhibition to local residents, business owners and visitors to the Town,” Mayor Barker said.
“Congratulations to Brendan and his brother Isaac, I am delighted we have been able to add another wonderful artwork to our collection which I am sure the community will enjoy for years to come.”
The exhibition can be viewed at the Town’s Council Chambers and Administration Building daily until 25 August, 2018 with all artworks for sale.
Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork for a chance to win a $500 Claremont Quarter gift voucher.
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