The 2019 Strand Ephemera officially launched at the Wonderland Spiegeltent on Saturday night with the winner of the $10,000 major prize announced.
The hotly contended 2019 $10,000 Award for Artistic Excellence was awarded to Dominique and Samuel Chen for their artwork Dream Palisade.
Strand Ephemera Judge Bradley Vincent said Dream Palisades was a unanimous choice for the judges, with its commanding presence on the foreshore.
“It is a work that, like the best works, reveals more and more layers the more time you spend with it. We were first struck by its form, the perfect scale and presence for its location and the way it allowed itself to be framed by the its surrounds. It invites the viewer down from the foreshore, onto the beach,” Mr Vincent said.
“Once you are near, you notice the materials used. It speaks beautifully to the history of land art, being made of the very material of its location. This is such a perfect way to talk about environmental issues – here, a message of the need for both action and preparedness.
“Then we see the pillowcases standing in for traditional sandbags. They evoke a feeling of both nostalgia and of familiarity. We can probably all find in there a particular pattern that we ourselves have slept on at some point. In this way, this is a work that speaks to both the environment and the individual, placing each of us firmly in the frame.
“Finally, we returned at night to find gentle lights embedded in the work, casting an inviting glow. It is a truly deserving and timely winner.”
Mr Vincent said the jury would also like to acknowledge two works with a note of being ‘highly commended’.
First, for a great example of collaborative practice and it’s striking use of scale, material and colour – Thawvl by Ngethn o’ Thawvl Wedlvn,” Mr Vincent said.
“And for its lyricism and it’s sterling example of site responsive sculpture – Stranger to these shores by Jane Hawkins, Sally Munns and Rhonda Payne.”
The judges panel included Curator of Public Art and Outdoor Programming at Home of the Arts Bradley Vincent, local artist Alison McDonald, and Strand Ephemera commissioned artist Julia Tonetani.
Community and Cultural Development Committee Chair Cr Colleen Doyle said Strand Ephemera has completely transformed The Strand.
“Strand Ephemera is always a fantastic event and I love that we are able to bring some thought-invoking and incredible artwork to the community,” Cr Doyle said.
“There are 10 days of art, workshops, and performances for residents and visitors to the city to enjoy.
“I’m so awed by the calibre of art on show along The Strand and I’d like to congratulate Dominique and Samuel for winning the Award for Artistic Excellence.”
Cr Doyle encouraged visitors to Strand Ephemera to vote for their favourite artwork on display this year.
“The $10,000 major prize has been awarded but there is still the chance for your favourite sculpture to take home the $2,000 People’s Choice Award,” Cr Doyle said.
“I’d love to see everyone visiting the Strand Park information desk and voting via the marble run set up there.”
Voting for the People’s Choice Award – sponsored by Wilson/Ryan/Grose Lawyers – is open from 9am until 5pm every day until Sunday 4 August.