Jac’s shoes are made for winning

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THERE were more than a few raised eyebrows at Canberra Grammar School tonight when sponsors Karina Harris and Neil Hobbs announced the winner of the $10,000 Harris Hobbs Small Sculpture Prize.

Jac Bradley's "Softly Softly"
Jac Bradley’s “Softly Softly”

Canberra artist Jacqueline Bradley’s daring wall sculpture, ”Softly Softly,” was judged the winner by Harris, Hobbs and Terence Maloon of the Drill Hall Gallery. It is a pair of shoes attached to the wall and was made of woollen felt, piano hammers, wood, cotton webbing, epoxy and women’s leather shoes.

“Jacqueline’s use of reclaimed objects very much stood out to us,” said Mr Hobbs. “We were drawn to the simple concept of the work, with the placement of two ordinary objects creating an absurd outcome in their juxtaposition.”

Bradley is a graduate of the ANU School of Art and has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In a few short years the talented Canberra artist has already been the recipient of a number of prizes, residents and awards, including the ‘Rooms Artist in Residency’ in Newfoundland, Canada. She is also a well-known fiddler.

Exhibits in the CGS Gallery
Exhibits in the CGS Gallery

This was a hotly contested prize, installed in the School Gallery, with most of the leading names in Canberra region sculpture exhibiting and other artists entering from as far as the Northern Territory.

Rosalind Lemoh's "Cut."
Rosalind Lemoh’s “Cut.”

Artists Rosalind Lemoh, Alex Lewis and Michael Le Grand were commended by the judges.

Outside in the gardens of CGS, much larger sculpture were on display but were not in competition. They can be seen, along with two dimensional art works by emerging artist Aika O’Toole, as part of the Canberra Grammar Sculpture Festival, on show until October 16, 10am to 4pm weekday, and 11am to 4pm weekend.

This weekend only the festival will form part of the Australian Open Garden weekend event at the School, with the grounds open to the public from 10am to 4pm.

Michael Le Grand's "Betwixt"
Michael Le Grand’s “Betwixt”

Curator Trever Dunbar praises the works entered in the prize, saying most the small objects (80cm x 80cm x 80cm was the maximum size allowed) were likely to be accessible to audiences. He said all the works on show were for sale.

Alex Lewis' "Fold"
Alex Lewis’ “Fold”

“When you see what sculptors go through,” he said, “it almost makes you want to be a painter.” Dunbar said the outdoor exhibition showed “how art cane transform a space…there was a real buzz on Monday when people came to school and saw the sculptures.”

Canberra Grammar Sculpture Festival features as part of the School’s 85th anniversary celebrations,  in the School grounds and gallery, Monaro Crescent Red Hill  until October 16, 10am to 4pm weekdays and 11am to 4pm weekends. The Festival will also hold an art market this weekend (October 18 and 19).

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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