Safety Bay artist Carol Clitheroe won the $5000 Alcoa Major Sculpture Award for recycled sculpture with an aluminium component with Blow Your Troubles Away. Clitheroe used aluminium drink cans to create a series of dandelions with smaller stamen-like elements attached to fishing line between beach volley ball posts, giving the gently swaying flowers the effect of just being blown.
Clitheroe says she experimented with many materials in an attempt to achieve the softness of dandelions. “That’s the part of Castaways I love so much – the experimentation, and it just worked. I love the way they sparkle, the movement, sound and the expectation they are about to fly away.”
This is the first time Clitheroe has won the major prize, but she has been continuously selected for exhibition over the eight year history of the Awards, and has been lead artist of the education program for primary school children since the inception of the event.
“I think everyone has blown a dandelion at some stage in their life. I hoped people who looked at it would have fond memories of childhood.”, she said. “The work was a whim. I usually like to have some kind of message in my work, but with this one I was really just having a fun. To actually win while having fun at the same time isn’t too bad at all!
Judges Connie Petrillo, Arts Manager at St John of God Murdoch Hospital, Sandra Murray, Art Curator of Bankwest, and Bronwyn Berman, visiting Castaways artist from Sydney, said the winning work was an imaginative and well resolved conversion of materials. “The work has a whimsical narrative, is visually outstanding in the landscape with an appealingly restricted palette, and makes good use of existing infrastructure. We found it an excellent response to the theme of recycling using aluminium.”
Winner in the $3000 Fremantle Ports Award for recycled sculpture was Baskerville artist Daniel Iley with The Painted Sky, a large empty picture frame set against the sea and sky, together with a skilfully-crafted oversized artist’s palette, brush and palette knife, implying nature too is a great master.
Winner of the $3000 City of Rockingham Award for recycled sculpture were South Yunderup artists Eileen Macpherson and Milan Mercavic who created Drum Roll, a series of colourfully painted gas drums, replete with drumsticks, encouraging all visitors to explore the universal language of rhythm.
Winner of the $3000 GDF Suez Kwinana Innovation Award was Gail Farquhar from Golden Bay with Footprint, a series of intricate half-spherical forms, reminiscent of lace, created with melted plastic milk bottles. The repetition of forms explored the breakdown of plastics in industrial production as a means of highlighting the importance of ecological footprints.
Stella Onderwater, also from Golden Bay, won the $3000 Sustainable Living Award with Screen, a series of flyscreens cleverly linked together by an embroidered beetle.
Barbara Bozsik and Marcia Espinosa won the $1500 Waste Authority Collective Art Award for sculpture by groups with Wachiman, three brightly coloured forms inspired by donuts, burger rings and candy canes.
For the first time the Castaways Primary and Secondary Schools Competition is on show for the entire exhibition. Winner of the Primary School section was Singleton Primary with Flock of Birds, a funky interpretation created with a variety of recycled plastic materials collected by students. Winner of the Secondary School section was South Coast Baptist College with Time for a Change, an imagined time machine.
Now in its eighth year, Castaways is expanding to festival proportions. It includes a Poetry Prize, with entries received from every state in Australia and overseas, and a Photography Competition. Guidelines are available on the City of Rockingham website.
Free catalogues are available at the information tent on Churchill Park, Rockingham.
Castaways Sculpture Awards continues at Palm Beach, Rockingham Foreshore until 2pm Sunday 17 May.
Photo: 1st prize winner "Blow Your Troubles Away", by Carol Clitheroe.