Colac artist, researcher and art educator Jenny Grenfell has taken out CrossXpollinatioN’s 2019 People’s Choice Award with her entry The Ecology of Landscape.
A record 1159 votes were posted in this year’s People’s Choice Award – that’s only five less votes than the entire attendance at CrossXpollinatioN 2018 – with Jenny’s entry capturing the imaginations of visitors.
Jenny’s freestanding tri-panel of silk, wool and other natural fibres moves viewers through the landscape, “exploring the connection between fauna and flora; feeling, hearing and seeing; through the mind, the eye and the hand”.
In her artist statement, Jenny said her lifetime working as an art educator in higher education provided her with an opportunity to combine two passions – teaching in art education and art making.
“As a young woman growing up in the 1940s I was encouraged to draw and paint, attending art classes conducted by a Colac artist. “In the home, my mother taught me how to knit, embroider and crochet. Many of these techniques now populate the surface of my art forms.”
Jenny said her artistic practice was also stimulated by childhood memories and ongoing experiences with the local environment. “This includes the beautiful volcanic rock strata of the hinterland, bushland and coastline of the Colac Otway region,” she said.
“In my artworks, I incorporate a self-portrait of found objects, drawing techniques and print making, mixed media and traditional textile techniques to develop two-dimensional and three-dimensional fibre and art forms.”
Jenny is a life member of Art Education Victoria and an appointed member of the College of Distinguished Deakin Educators.
Jenny will receive a $500 prize from COPACC and the Colac Otway Shire Council for her People’s Choice win. Jane Bear’s felted CrossXpollinatioN entry Grounded came a close second in the People’s Choice Award, followed by Heather Frizzell’s whimsically suited fox Percy.