‘Eden Unearthed: art in the gardens’ prize winners announced

We congratulate the winners of the ‘Eden Unearthed’ outdoor sculpture exhibition and prize, a vibrant showcase of works designed to reflect on and draw consciousness to the environment. The recently launched showcase features 40 sculptural, textile and interactive sound works installed throughout Eden Gardens at Macquarie Park on Sydney’s north side.

Jan Cleveringa, The Corporate Snake, 2019, approximately 20m x 100cm. Courtesy the artist and Eden Unearthed

Judges Trevor Weekes, Allan Giddy and Rae Bolotin awarded prizes to the following artists at the opening event on Monday 5 August.

Multidisciplinary artist Jan Cleveringa received the ‘Eden Gardens Prize’, the inaugural $10,000 non-acquisitive award for his work The Corporate Snake (2019). The installation piece is about waste that also offers a long-term, big picture idea and solution in its extended art statement, both symbolised in aesthetics and demonstrative in its execution, as a way to make our communities more sustainable. Cleveringa suggests looking at corporations’ law in the context of community sustainability; 17,500 light globes thrown away but working, worth about $127,500, were found as discarded waste but can still be used and redistributed.

Marta Ferracin received the ‘Eden Gardens Prize – Highly Commended’ for her installation titled Forget me not (2019) which highlights Eden Garden’s water reservoir to highlight its valuable contribution to the sustainability of Eden’s environment and to reflect on the precious natural resource of water. In Forget me not, each drop of water that falls into the reservoir from aerial drip lines creates wondrous water ripples, invisible messengers spreading the word within the surroundings. They reveal the importance of water and iterate that humans must manage and protect their environment and existence.

‘The Student Award’ of $500 cash and art materials went to emerging artist and writer Jack Poppert for Eden: slipped, tripped, stumbled. Poppert’s practice explores notions of, and reactions to, the modern period; with writing often a key component. Consisting of two contrasting pillars, forming support for an existing structure within the gardens, this ‘prosthetic’ attempts collective repair of a de-stabilised natural world initiated by post-modernist tendencies.

Natasha Abram received ‘The Student Award – Highly Commended’ for CAUTION: Subject to Drought. Abram is a Sydney-based artist working foremost in sculpture, installation and jewellery-making. CAUTION: Subject to Drought consists of five ‘drought’ metres – the invert of flood meters –and measure the danger of water level being too low. This includes the repercussions this could have on a number of natural life species due to irrigation reuse of water. Positioned at various points through the garden, they reference the water recycling initiatives throughout Eden.

The ‘Accessibility Award’ of $300 this award is for an artwork that increases the experience and enjoyment for people of all abilities went to Alison Thompson for her work The Magic of the Garden. Inspired by nature and colour, Thompson uses her passion for yarn to create various installations with community involvement. The Magic of the Garden celebrates children and their love of nature. By using texture and colours, yarn insects and flowers, this piece will encourage exploration and imagination, creating another world and embracing nature.

Visitors to Eden Gardens can see all the works featured in the exhibition from giant birds, ‘Frankensteined’ trees, water dragons, spider-like creatures created from birds’ nest, yarn bombed gardens and more, until 31 January 2020.