Congratulations to Raymond Arnold, Rosalind Atkins, Dianne Fogwell and David Frazer on being selected as finalists in the inaugural WAMA Art Prize.
The inaugural WAMA Art Prize, Works on Paper, attracted more than 500 entries from across Australia. The number and quality of artists who entered highlights the resonance that the theme of art and nature has within our creative community. In particular, the artworks reflected an acute awareness of the many environmental issues facing all of us.
The judging panel comprising of Anne Virgo, Robert Nelson, Suzanne Davies and Jacky Healy had the extremely challenging task of selecting only 40 finalists out of a remarkable body of work by a huge number of entrants. The judges were greatly impressed by the diversity and manifest talent of the artists being inspired and enriched by nature within their work.
Located adjacent to the national heritage listed Grampians (Gariwerd), WAMA (Where Art Meets Nature) is an eco-tourism destination project celebrating the relationship between art, science and nature. WAMA will boast a dedicated wildlife art gallery that explores the interconnection between art and nature, set within botanic gardens and wetlands, that nurtures and protects rare species of plants and animals.
The finalists’ exhibition will be available to view online until 31 January 2022. Voting is open for the people’s choice award until 22 October 2021. For more information, and to view the exhibition in full, visit the WAMA website.
Image above: Raymond Arnold Elsewhere World (Mt Lyell I) 2021 etching 122 x 63 cm
‘Elsewhere World (Mt Lyell I)’
‘I am living and working in the remote west coast of Tasmania. Relentless mining activity for over a century reduced the landscape to what various people have described as a ‘moonscape’. The rainforest has gone, but the almost three metres of rain a year remains to scour the valleys.
My prints ‘map’ the terrain around my home and become avatars of a landscape poised between a type of renewal and eternal vacancy.
Copper etching plates grounded and incised through months of work enfold details of waste rock rumble, fugitive vegetation and serrated skylines of the West’s sublime landscape onto beautiful 300gsm rag paper.‘ – Raymond Arnold
Image above: Rosalind Atkins Considering the tree 2021 engraving edition 8 80 x 60 cm
‘Considering the tree’
‘Made during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown, ‘Considering the tree’, while representing a specific tree, a Sydney Blue Gum, Eucalyptus saligna growing near the Yarra River in my allowed 5-kilometre travel limit, it is also what I spend much of my time doing. Engraved over many months it is a continuation of my practice that has been dedicated to my relationship to the tree for many years.
The title pays respect to Martin Buber’s dialogic relationship with animate beings expressed by a mutual encounter with a tree in ‘I and Thou’, 2004.‘ – Rosalind Atkins
Image above: Dianne Fogwell The Dead Tree Scroll – Silent Extinction 2021 artist book – mulberry (Hanji) paper, linocut, pigmented ink, burn drawing, transfer text and found burnt curtain rod 30 x 150 cm (open)
Dianne Fogwell (Award of Excellence Winner)
‘The Dead Tree Scroll – Silent Extinction’
‘In the summer of 2020, while the smoke quietly and densely settled over Canberra, my visual investigations about how humanity impacts the natural world entered a new realm.
My artist book ‘The Dead Tree Scroll – Silent Extinction’ features excerpts from victim’s reports written to various government bodies after the Black Summer fires. These words show the damage was considerable and long lasting to the flora and fauna and the human spirit.
The attitude needed to survive this tragedy is represented through the artist book’s materials. This paper made from the inner bark of the Paper Mulberry tree appears fragile but is strong enough to be printed on both sides, water damaged and burnt while remaining beautiful to touch and stays long lasting.
The Australian bush is not eternal and invincible. My hope is that with awareness, insight and understanding there will be regeneration of both the land and human spirit.‘ – Dianne Fogwell
Image above: David Frazer The Tangled Wood (composition I) 2019 wood engraving edition 40 80 x 120 cm
‘The Tangled Wood (composition I)’
‘This etching started with one plate, and it grew organically from plate to plate. The composition developed as it went along; disorderly like the bush itself, strangely beautiful yet tense and uncomfortable.
The depiction of individual trees or tree-trunks that dominate the composition become a metaphor for man. They carry the scars of a life buffered by the elements, yet still they stand as weary yet upright sentinels – a lifetime of memories written upon their bark and twisted forms.‘ – David Frazer