Murrumbateman artist, Wendy Teakel has taken home the Sculpture at Scenic World 2019 Major Award, rising above fierce competition to win the coveted $20,000 cash prize.
Teakel’s Cycle was selected from a field of 25 finalist works by a highly esteemed judging panel including UNSW Deputy Dean for Art & Design, Professor Marie Sierra; independent curator, Axel Arnott; and Blue Mountains-based artist, Heidi Axelsen.
The judges applauded all finalists for their range of interpretations, acknowledging Teakel’s installation as a ‘bold and confident work that is elegantly realised’. They added that, ‘Cycle references Australian agriculture and the way we instruct our boundaries. The grid provides the viewer with a map-life reference while the subtle elliptical outline floats the work on the site.’
Teakel was ‘humbled and delighted’ by the win, which will allow her to expand on her artistic practice and continue exhibiting works within Australia and abroad.
‘It is overwhelming to be acknowledged for your vision among such a high calibre of artists,’ she said, adding that Sculpture at Scenic World Curator Justin Morrissey inspired her to enter the exhibition for the first time in 2019. ‘I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with such a talented curator who has inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone to draw attention to the fragility of our natural environment,’ she added.
In addition, the $2,000 Scenic World Staff’s Choice Award was awarded to Louis Pratt for his work Regret, and the $3,000 Environmental Award which was presented to Jan Cleveringa for his installation, The Corporate Snake. Pratt also took home the $2,000 Blue Mountains Cultural Centre Opportunity, while Western Australian artist Jennifer Cochrane received an honourable mention for her work, Impossible Shadow #14, which the judges recognised for striking a ‘deeply satisfying balance between the natural and introduced languages of the site’.
All 25 finalists’ works will be exhibited in the ancient rainforest at Scenic World in the Blue Mountains from 12 April to 12 May 2019.