Swash - installation for Strand Ephemera, QLD

Strand Ephemera Exhibition Catalogue, Swash, Kath Fries, page 11

'Swash' is a meandering path of feathers tracing the high tide mark. The word 'Swash' means splash or spray area above the high tide mark but it is not a fixed demarcation, it moves with the littoral drift affected by weathering, human coastal development, storms and the passage of time. This line of feathers fluttering in the breeze, vulnerably dwarfed by the length of beach and nervously just out of reach of the enormity of the ocean, compels viewers to anthropomorphically see the feathers embedded in the sand as themselves standing so small against the forces of nature and the passage of time. 

(Kath Fries, Swash artwork statement 2011)

Strand Ephemera Kid's Education Program, Swash, Kath Fries, page 11
Strand Ephemera is an 11 day festival of contemporary art, 2 - 12 September 2011, Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Presented along the length of the Strand, Townsville's idyllic beachfront, this is the sixth incarnation of Strand Ephemera
“Ephemera” is a creative element to be interpreted by artists in any possible way. It can simply refer to the short life span of the exhibition, or as an encouragement to be innovative in the use of materials – accessible, organic, or as some artists interpret the brief, to produce work that disintegrates over the period of the exhibition. 
More info

Congratulations Sanné Mestrom - JFMP2011 winner

Congratulations Sanné Mestrom - winner of the John Fries Memorial Prize 2011 for emerging visual artists.  Mestrom was announced as the winner of the $10,000 prize at the finalists exhibition opening, Tuesday 9th August, at Viscopy’s contemporary art space in Chippendale, Sydney. The prize was presented by benefactor Vivienne Fries and acclaimed Sydney artist, Lindy Lee, who commented on the excellence of each of the finalists artworks and the consistently high standard of the exhibition.

The finalists and the winning entry were selected by a panel of judges including Anna Davis (Museum of Contemporary Art curator), Hannah Bertram (artist and John Fries Memorial Prize winner 2010), Danie Mellor (artist and Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award winner 2009) and Kath Fries (artist, Viscopy Board member and John Fries' daughter). 

Sanné Mestrom, Thinking Props, 2010, 120x100x100cm, Mixed media sculptural installation, (wood, bronze, resin, found broom stick, copper). Image courtesy the artist.

Mestrom's sculptural installation Thinking Props plays with the idea of a physical prop designed to promote cerebral and psychological contemplation.   Made from everyday found objects, the work consists of three components: a table, a cluster of door handles and a “joy prop”.  Her table is tailored to one assuming the classic position of Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, with elbow placed on table enclave and chin on cupped hand.  It is a physical prop that encourages cerebral revelation.  A grid of door handles below the table suggests opening doors, that endless possibilities and zones of discovery are just a simple action away.  In front of the table sits a “joy prop” constructed of a cast bronze mould hypothetically designed to be fitted into the mouth to force a smile. 

Danie Mellor says of the Mestrom’s artwork: Through her interest in human intimacy ... she presents playful and thought provoking arrangements of objects that recall Modernist engagements with the readymade... (but) an intimacy is invoked that allows a bodily interaction with form, if only through the viewers’ realisation that in fact "this is what you (can and are supposed to) do" with the objects.  They are both familiar and out of reach as fragile objects in a gallery space, a temptation for the curious. The complexity of the potential interaction that the installation suggests, and its resolution as an intricate and multi-layered object, lends this work its intrigue and place as a well deserving winner.

Mestrom's winning artwork, Thinking Props features in the exhibition with the other fourteen finalists: Cyrus Tang, Erica Molesworth, Eva Hampel, Heath Franco, Jennifer O'Brien, Karl Khoe & Tessa Zettel, Keiko Matsui, Kristel Britcher, Kurt Sorensen, Nathan Taylor, Pauletta Kerinauia, Sanné Mestrom, Susie Nelson, Wade Marynowsky and Walter Brecely. Curated by Venita Poblocki, runs until 30 September and is open between 1pm and 5pm from Wednesday to Friday. 1 Blackfriars Street Chippendale NSW 2008 Australia.

The John Fries Memorial Prize for emerging visual artists is an annual prize donated by the Fries family in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of Viscopy.  The competition is open to emerging Australian and New Zealand artists of all ages and disciplines who are not currently studying and whose work has not yet been collected by a regional, state, territory or national public gallery.

For more information about Sanné Mestrom's practice please see her website www.mestrom.org and for more information about the John Fries Memorial Prize 2011 please see Viscopy's website www.viscopy.org.au/current-exhibition

John Fries Memorial Prize Exhibition 2011

John Fries Memorial Prize 2011 for emerging visual artists
Finalists exhibition: 9 August to 10 September 2011

The winner of the $10,000 award
will be announced at 7pm on Tuesday 9 August

Blackfriars off Broadway - Viscopy’s exhibition space
1 Blackfriars Street, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia
Open 1 to 5pm Wed to Fri. (02) 9310 2018 http://www.viscopy.org.au/  

The finalists are: Cyrus Tang, Erica Molesworth, Eva Hampel, Heath Franco, Jennifer O'Brien, Karl Khoe & Tessa Zettel, Keiko Matsui, Kristel Britcher, Kurt Sorensen, Nathan Taylor, Pauletta Kerinauia, Sanne Mestrom, Susie Nelson, Wade Marynowsky and Walter Brecely.

The John Fries Memorial Prize 2011 finalists’ exhibition showcases the diversity of mediums being used by current emerging artists. The exhibition includes site-specific interactive works and responsive installations involving robotics, touch, movement and sound as well as paintings, glass, porcelain, photography, sculpture and video. However, regardless of medium, the works represent contemporary artistic preoccupations including the nexus between object and process, self and culture, interactivity and audience, technology and viscera, nostalgia and time.

The exhibition has been curated by Venita Poblocki. The finalists and the winner have been selected by the judging panel: Anna Davis - Museum of Contemporary Art Curator, Hannah Bertram - John Fries Memorial Prize 2010 winner, Danie Mellor - National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award winner 2009, and Kath Fries - artist and Viscopy board member.

The John Fries Memorial Prize for emerging artists is open to Australian and New Zealand artists of all ages and disciplines, who are not currently studying and whose work is not yet included in a public art collection. The John Fries Memorial Prize is an annual non-acquisitive prize, donated by the Fries family in memory of John Fries, former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer who made a remarkable contribution to the success of Viscopy.

For more information visit www.viscopy.org.au/current-exhibition