An artwork using ash from the 2013 Dunalley bushfires has won this year’s Glover art prize. Nigel Hewitt won the $40,000 prize, the country’s richest landscape award for his work, Woven.
The Tasmanian-born artist, who now lives in Western Australia, used wood ash to depict a forest landscape. Hewitt was thrilled with the award, which honours colonial artist John Glover ::::
“It’s fantastic to be able to put it into a prize like this, such a prestigious prize, and to win it. It’s extraordinarily. Overwhelming,” Mr Hewitt said.
Woven features a forest at Mount Barrow in northern Tasmania. Mr Hewitt both areas had dealt with loss.
“I find that the rainforest is symbolic of the delicacy of our environment,” Mr Hewitt said.
A final tally of 42 competitors was whittled down from 282 entries from throughout Australia and overseas.
Judge Francis Parker said the panel members were unanimous.
“The work that strikes you the most in the first walk through is often the one that you settle on,” Mr Parker said. “There’s a strong but subtle environmental message that the artist is dealing with and then that’s beautifully presented in the material that he’s using.”
The winning artist is already planning how he will use the prize money.
“A work like this takes months, so that $40,000 will allow me to push those experimentations further,” Mr Hewitt said.
The award is celebrating its 12th year. The judging is held in the northern Tasmanian town of Evandale every year, where Glover spent the last 20 years of his life.
The exhibition is expected to be viewed by thousands of people and is on display until Tuesday. The People’s Choice award will be announced next week.
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