It was a thumping great night last night! Sincere thanks to everyone who came along and supported our event! A few photos might describe it best:
The TWO artists who took out this year's Grand Prize were:
Claire Macrae Drylie with her assemblage piece, For Roya, inspired by 'On the Java Ridge' by Jock Serong. Claire's artist statement read, "On finishing Jock Serong's wonderful but harrowing novel I felt a deep need to honour Roya by making something beautiful for her. Roya is an incredibly brave and memorable eight-year-old refugee girl, and one of the main characters of the book. She has been exposed to more horror in her short life than any child should have to endure, ever. I assembled Roya a beautiful box/shrine to house treasured fragments of her past, but also to house the possibilities of a future that should have been hers. If only Australia had been a different country - a kind and compassionate country ... if only."
Kate Buttery with her clay sculpture, Kiewarra Rabbit, inspired by 'The Dry' by Jane Harper. Kate's artist statement read, "'Kiewarra Rabbit' is formed in unglazed Australian clays. It is a grim image, summing up the grim mood of the drought-stricken (and death-stricken) fictional town of Kiewarra. Wherever there is a death in Kiewarra there also seems to be rabbits - the black eyes of Aaron and Luke's dead baby rabbit; their concocted rabbit shooting alibi; the rabbits eating the crops not killed by the drought; Luke out shooting rabbits on the afternoon of the murder; and the Remington ammunition for rabbit shooting that was used to kill the Hadler family."
The judges also awarded Highly Commended to:
Megan Cheyne with her painting, 'This is How I tell it', based on 'The Hate Race' by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Megan's statement: "‘The Hate Race’ is a partial memoir written by Maxine Beneba Clarke chronicling the perpetual racism and discrimination experienced by herself as an Australian Afro-Caribbean girl growing up in outer suburban Sydney in the 80s and 90s. This painting is about a birthday present, a coveted Cabbage Patch Kid. Alarmed that her mother has bought one with brown skin she hides it. Maxine’s mother finds it just in time for her to take to show off to her friends. Filled with anxiety she sets off for school realising what she will endure if she shows it to her peers."
Kerry Rochford with her stitched image, 'Exile', based on 'Small Beauty' by Jia Qing Wilson-Yan. Kerry's statement: "Small Beauty by Jia Qing Wilson-Yang was simultaneously a joy and a revelation. The story is a quiet and respectful meditation on loss, grief, exile, and finding a path back to your true self and it delivers both potential answers and rich fodder for further thinking. The work was completed over 40 hours in which time I read and re-read the book to become immersed in the haunting quality of the words. Mei is a transgender, mixed race woman and, as the main character, brings warmth and believable humanity to this novel. I sought to capture that humanity and sense of vulnerability in my artwork. Mei is in seemingly multiple states of exile, from her home, her peers, and her past as she seeks to transcend the grief which tethers her to the landscape she inhabits. The Canadian Geese, which feature throughout the story, have multiple possible meanings including haunting, trauma and exile. My work speaks to the lone nature of the geese which shares Mei's environment and the exile they both face. I designed this work to represent a sense of calm and contemplation - a moment of wonder and of realisation that exile can be the beginning of a journey back to yourself and to home."
Robyn Foster with her sculptural piece, 'Hope Springs Eternal', based on 'Living on Hope Street' by Demet Divoraren. Robyn's statement: "The residents of Hope Street hail from many different demographics, life experience and age groups. Their commonalities lie in the life-altering adversities which shape their destinies. Although at first divided, their adverse struggles bring them together with a growing understanding that they share commonalities as well as differences. The small dispirited houses are a representation of the facades we hide away in and try to protect ourselves with. The wounds and sutures indicative of the battles faced. The colourless, aged paper an indication of time worn weariness. The simplistic structures stand resolutely quiet with no stairs or openings with which to enter or escape. One tiny house is buoyed by a bright bunch of enormous balloons. These represent the innocent hope of young Sam. A small boy who lives with a violent father and little avenue of escape from the terror of his day to day life. After being taken by Kane, his older brother, to see the movie ‘Up’, Sam dreams of their house lifting them all magically away to safety and refuge and a bright, hopeful future."
There were even the odd authors in attendance - so some of the artists had a chance to meet the people who penned their inspiration!
The Under 18 Award / Junior Encouragement Award goes to the one and only entrant in that category, Ferris Canham. Artist statement: "I have made The Granny, the blimp from the story, out of wood, paper and 3D printing. It is travelling the land to collect the most hated villain’s most precious items."
Thanks to everyone who's made the Biblio the fun event it is! We learn a little bit more every year we host it, but after 11 years we know that the best part of the whole lot is meeting the artists, and being able to connect people to each other through books and art.
This exhibition is now up until 27 January, and there is another prize yet for the People's Choice award. So if you're in town, make sure you come in and give some time to viewing the show, and put in a vote for your favourite.
For 2020, we're thinking we might add a Biblio Junior to our calendar ... jump on our mailing list if you have young creatives in your lives!