Hill End artist, Mark Booth, has been named the Sculpture at Scenic World 2017 Major Award winner, taking home a $20,000 cash prize for his artwork, Jellybean.
Rising above an incredible field of finalists, Mark’s work was selected by judges Dr Josh Wodak, design educator at UNSW’s Faculty of Art and Design; Canberra-based artist, Wendy Teakel; and Blue Mountains artist, Joan Ross.
The panel applauded all artists for their range of interpretations, including human, nonhuman, past and present, and said thoughtful consideration was given to artworks that embraced the natural surroundings. “We were looking for quieter artistic statements that complemented the environment rather than competing with it, and Jellybean presented a polished work that blended seamlessly into the natural surroundings,” the judges commented.
Accepting the award in front of 350 guests, Mark said he was thrilled to take home the prize money, which would help to pay for a three month art residency in Berlin which begins next month. “I couldn’t imagine a more incredible place on earth than the Jamison Valley to showcase my work, and I’d like to thank Scenic World for providing such a world class venue,” he said.
“This award will help me to explore new cultures and create new work internationally, which will help me take my work to a new level.”
Announced at the launch of Sculpture at Scenic World 2017 on Friday April 7, Scenic World Managing Director Anthea Hammon congratulated Mark, and said his work was sure to captivate thousands of visitors during the exhibition.
“Environmental awareness has been a strong theme among this year’s artworks, and Jellybean is an insightful work that subtly draws your attention to the forest canopy and embodies the natural beauty of the ancient rainforest,” she said.
Other awards presented at the exhibition launch included the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Exhibition Opportunity, and the Scenic World Staff’s Choice Award; both of which were awarded to local artist Kayo Yokoyama for her work, Illusion.
Leura-based artist Kevina-Jo Smith received an honourable mention for her work, Dance of the Peacock Spider, along with Canberra-based artist Sally Simpson for her work, Ritual Masks for an Unknown Future Museum.
The National Association of Visual Arts Environment Award was also presented to Louis Pratt for his work, Consumption.
A total of 35 artworks will be exhibited in the Jurassic rainforest at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains from April 7 to May 7. For more information about Sculpture at Scenic World visit sculptureatscenicworld.com.au.