Masterpieces 2K17 youth art award winners embrace the digital

Winners of the Masterpieces 2K17 Youth Art Competition were announced on Friday at the official launch, with Mandurah’s youth talent on show in Contemporary Art Spaces Mandurah (CASM).

Mandurah-based graphic designer and illustrator Mariah Vergone, winner of the 18-25 years category for her piece Digital Downfall, said she was excited to see non-traditional art forms being recognised in the awards.

“In the past digital media was still seen as kind of cheating… people have a different mindset now, which is quite exciting to me because I do depend quite heavily on the digital medium,” she said.

Mariah is aware of the contradictory nature of her work, which simultaneously embraces the use of graphic tablets and Photoshop, while critiquing society’s dependence on computers and technology.

“Even artists can’t escape that the digital world has become so dominant now… If I lost my computer or the power went out, I’d really struggle to do digital work,” she said.

“[My work] is entirely digitally drawn… it highlights the fact that at university I studied traditional oil painting, and thought classical was better, but now if you give me a tablet and a computer, I’ll be able to do a much better drawing than if you gave me a pencil or paint.”

Traditional media is not totally abandoned, however, with a wide variety of entries created using good old pencil, ink and paint.

With four categories awarded this year, the winning entrants included:

13-15 Years

1st: Mark Liston - ‘Chimps’

2nd: Ella Urielle Narido - ‘Harmony’

3rd: Raveen Dassanayake - ‘Cry of a Tiger Shark’

16-17 Years

1st: Chloe Dennis - ‘Sequestered’

2nd: Lianka Swanepoel - ‘Eruption’

3rd: Ella Wilkins - ‘A Woman’s Worth’

18-25 Years

1st: Mariah Vergone – ‘Digital Downfall’

2nd: Lexie Sleet – ‘Red Sleeves’

3rd: Emma Jackson – ‘Red Tailed Cockatoo Diptych’ (male and female)

Encouragement award: Amy Joy – ‘The Sky, Earth and Sea’

Digital media

1st: Jasmine Smalley – ‘Sol, Earth and Luna’

2nd: Aaron Johnston – ‘Reflections’

3rd: Wan Ling Kuo-Arrigo – ‘Out of Space’

Encouragement award: Xanthe Turner – ‘Dragon Cuddle Pile’

Visit the exhibition before it closes on Sunday, May 21. 

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