Queensland College of Art postgraduate student Alicia Lane has scooped the $15,000 top prize at SWELL Sculpture Festival.
Alicia, 43, took out the SWELL Sculpture Award sponsored by City of Gold Coast and judged by Tracy Cooper-Lavery, the Director of Gold Coast City Art Gallery with her work titled Rainforest Remnants, which was acquired by a private collector.
Taking out the festival’s major prize was no easy feat, with 55 entries in this year’s competition by Australian and international artists.
“It was completely unexpected – my head is still spinning,” Alicia said.
It has been a long, hard road for the artist, who didn’t finish high school and embarked on her studies as a mature age student while juggling two young children and part-time work.
SWELL Festival curator Natasha Edwards said the exhibition provided invaluable exposure for emerging artists.
“We are really launching sculptors and giving them a platform,” she said. “It’s important that they have a showcase for their work.”
Alicia’s installation wasn’t the only one to gain praise. Selected by Fran Cummings, an art consultant, Clayton Thompson’s Project Bread took out the Neumann Family Award worth $5000, the Artist Peer Award valued at $1000 as well as the Kids’ Choice Award, sponsored by Currumbin RSL and valued at $3000.
LIST OF AWARD WINNERS
Winner, $3000 ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS AWARD sponsored by Max Fabre Foundation and selected by Leanne Sanderson & Katrina Brown, Greg Windsor for Lighfboat
Winner $3000 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD sponsored by Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC and chosen by popular vote, was ANTi-DOTE by Andrew Cullen and Kara Vaughan with Helensvale State High School students
Winner, $1500 EMERGING ARTIST AWARD sponsored by Jennie Neumann OAM and selected by Jennie Neumann’s Family, Katie + Derek Hooper for their giant deck-chairs titled With You
Winner, $500 SMALLS GALLERY AWARD sponsored by The Way of Design and voted by exhibition visitors, Nick Warfield for Warrior Woman.
IMAGE: Alicia Lane, Rainforest Remnants (c) Rowly Emmett 2016