At times I have had doubts about the value of entering high-profile art awards. During 2022 I spent a lot of time in Victoria with family away from my studio and was therefore limited in what new works I was able to make. I focussed on entering work I had already made in a number of national prizes where I thought the work fitted the theme and was executed in the correct media. It was a discouraging experience: I calculated that I spent about $1,000 entering these competitions. The average entry fee is around for 40 to $50.
HOWEVER, whether it was perseverance, luck or improved skill I’m not sure but in June a piece of my work was selected for the National.Capital.Art Prize. Cabinet of Wonders, an openable casket constructed by me from re-purposed and salvaged timber and textiles, was selected as a finalist in the Sustainability Category. Apart from the wood and cloth, it included foraged and collected natural objects, mainly seeds and had a strong message about living sustainably on planet Earth. I was surprised when I got the acceptance letter because it was an entry I had done quite quickly on the spur-of-the-moment and I hadn’t really put in all the kinds of theoretical rationale that I normally would. I guess there are two learnings from this:
So take heart, my fellow artists! Keep working and putting your work forward. Zela