THE ACT Legislative Assembly’s Speaker, Vicki Dunne, yesterday unveiled artworks by the two graduate artists from the ANU School of Art who have been awarded the Legislative Assembly’s art prize in the Emerging Artist Support Scheme.The EASS, which accord to the director of the ANU School of Art, Gordon Bull, now boasts around 80 patrons, is an innovative program that connects corporate, institutional and individual patrons with talented artists graduating from the school.
Under the scheme, galleries around town offer exhibitions and promotion of how to talented artists just starting out and some businesses acquire art works by graduates for their offices.
In the case of the Legislative Assembly’s art prize, two 2012 graduates, painter Elana Geddes and glass artist, (now Honours student) Sara Hellsing have been recognised with prizes of $500 each.
Mrs Dunne selected the works in December last year by viewing the graduating students’ show late last year and chose the two works, which are now hanging in the Legislative Assembly on a one-year loan agreement. “The choices were made from literally hundreds of high-quality works of every genre including woodwork, textiles, glass, pottery, photography and sculpture,” she explained.
Geddes winning work, “Francesca”, is an oil-on-canvas portrait of a friend, visible to the public through the windows on London Circuit. “It captures much emotion and expression,” Mrs Dunne said. Geddes later told “CityNews” that she had focused on her friend’s hand to capture the different skin shading and texture in paint.
Hellsing’s winning glass installation, has been sold overseas, but another works from the series, “Recollections 1,” now hangs in the foyer of the Speaker’s Office. The artist yesterday explained that the work was made up of images of family history fused into blown-glass then surface on the rear with automotive paint.
Mrs Dunne told those present at the unveiling that she would soon reconvene the Assembly’s art committee, which had a $30,000 acquisitions budget per year. She had a notion, she said, to extend the scope of that beyond the visual arts but that lay in the future.