People’s Choice winners announced

Northern Beaches

Northern Beaches Council is delighted to announce the People’s Choice winners of the 2021 Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design Prize.

The three winners were selected by the public from over 220 works by artists and designers from Australia-wide, displayed across three exhibition sites on the Northern Beaches.

The winners have each received a $1,000 award, this year generously sponsored by the MAG&M Society.

CEO Ray Brownlee congratulated the winners and thanked the MAG&M Society for supporting the People’s Choice Awards.

“It is wonderful to see these works celebrated by the artists and locals attending the exhibition.

“They, along with the many other exhibition works contribute to a positive discussion around our environment, the climate and ideas for the future.”

The winners include:

AJ Gough at Manly Art Gallery & Museum with their work STOP- A sign from the Earth; Part 1.

Primarily composed of single-use plastics STOP was the first piece AJ created using waste they found walking their dog along Curl Curl Beach.

“Each day I collected a handful or two. Handfuls became bags. Bags became buckets,” AJ said. “I feel a deep connection to this area and I could see how the ecosystem was suffering as a result of anthropogenic influence.

“I started a beach clean, volunteered, talked to the people around me and avoided plastic where I could. Increasingly frustrated with the disinterest and inaction of those around me I began to express this agitation through art.”

Ben Gibson at Curl Curl Creative Space with his work Skatewood, crafted out of old skateboards and glue.

Ben said: “trapped between the battered exterior of grip tape, ground-down graphics and skate park crud lie eight layers of beautifully pressed multi-coloured Canadian Rock Maple. With a bit of effort sanding, grinding, peeling, glueing, clamping and turning, the full majesty of the timber can be realised and an item that was destined for landfill is now a functional piece of art.”

Sophie Shirriff at the Mona Vale Pop Up Gallery with her work Reef’s last breath which highlights her concerns about mass coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef.

It aims to start a conversation to remind the audience about their own role in climate change action and inaction.

Sophie said: “the porcelain human lung represents the coral bleaching and demonstrates how our survival is dependent on the earth. The contrasting bright felt is inspired by the beautiful colours evident in a healthy coral reef and embodies a sense of hope for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.”

The winning artworks are showcased in a free exhibition at the three exhibition venues alongside the other finalist works until 5pm Sunday 12 December 2021.

At Manly Art Gallery & Museum, works engaged with contemporary art practice are displayed, while the wearable and functional design category is shown at Curl Curl Creative Space. Youth finalists are showcased at Mona Vale Pop Up Gallery.

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