Infectious art wins prize
By Melinda McMillan
26 Aug 2016, 11:22 a.m. newcastlestar.com.au
MAISIE Neale is intrigued by the process of exploring what is below the surface, especially when it might reveal something unexpected or disturbing.
The Hunter Street TAFE student has just been awarded the 2016 Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize for her photographic work Infection.
It was entered as part of a triptych which took forms from nature and blended them with prosthetics.
“It’s a juxtaposition of the familiar and the unfamiliar forms in nature,” Neal said of the work.
“I set it up like a performance within the photograph.
“The one that won the prize was about infectious fungus.
“I have always been interested in the human form and nature and how we see nature everyday but there is so much in it that is strange and unfamiliar.”
Archibald and Sulman Prize winning artist Wendy Sharpe, one of three judges, said the work was beautiful and disturbing.
“The work almost has the feel of a religious icon,” Sharpe said.
“The hands echo on either side of this figure in the centre which is almost like a saint, it is a very intriguing work.”
Video and installation artist, and judge, Dani Marti said she appreciated the strong preformative component of the work.
“I really like how she is playing with materials and how she is playing with colour and aesthetics. There is this sense of beautiful surfaces, beautiful imagery but at the same time this sense of repulsion,” Marti said.
Ms Neale won $2000 which she plans to spend on equipment which will be used for art-making. She will complete an advanced diploma, majoring in sculpture and photography, this year.
The work of Maisie Neale is included in an exhibition The Artist as Mentor. Neal will exhibit works with her mentor Clare Weeks. The show will also feature works from Braddon Snape and Jo Lynch, and Peter Lankas with Dane Tobias, at Gallery 139.
The show opens on August 31 until September 17 at 139 Beaumont Street, Hamilton.