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Upstream Small Sculpture Prize a success

19 Mar, 2020

A quirky character, emotions during the recent bushfires, and a message about consumerism were themes behind the winning entries in the Upstream Small Sculpture Prize.

The inaugural prize was an exhibition and competition that celebrated the beauty and intricacy of small-scale three-dimensional artworks and was judged during the Upstream Festival on the March long weekend.

The community voted for a winner in three categories including the adult, secondary and primary school categories.

It provided an opportunity for local creatives at every level to exhibit and receive recognition for their artwork.

In the primary category, the winner was Heidi Spiers with her sculpture titled 'All of me'.

The 10-year-old student from Wodonga started working on her sculpture during the summer school holidays where she stayed inside a lot due to the smoke outside.

"It was a project I was already working on and was all about emotions experienced during the bushfires," she said.

"There were many feelings like ones of sadness and anger because some people had lost their homes or their farms were affected.

"I used items that are easily accessed at home such as foil and tissues.

"The sculpture is a person who is wrapped up in vines, each colour represents an emotion - red is anger, blue is sadness, peach is surprise, orange is happiness, purple is confusion, light blue is caring for others and pink is love." 

Elsa Meyer, 14, from Henty won the secondary category with her sculpture titled 'Crueso'.

The mixed media sculpture was made from clay, woollen felt, cotton fill, wire and feathers.

"Crueso was part of a fantastic dream I had. He was a cheeky little trickster and I had to bring him to life," she said.

Elsa was over the moon to win the award in the secondary category.

"When I heard I had an opportunity to put my work in an exhibition I was excited," she said.

Elsa has dreams of pursuing a career as an artist.

Her mum Abi recalls waking up one morning when Elsa was younger and finding the lounge room turned into an art studio.

"She was creating things long before the rest of the household was awake," Mrs Meyer said.

"This was a great chance for her to work on an artist statement and photograph her work as she has never had to do this before, so it showed her that side of a competition."

Taro Iiyama was the winner in the adult category with his sculpture titled 'Parcel', which was made from recycled cardboard and varnish.

"Parcel highlights the moment of consumer pleasure. Many of the products you buy are in a cardboard box, online shopping and the goods in retail outlets are delivered in them," he said.

"They are a symbol of our consumerist society. I am interested in expanding the possibilities of making objects that can raise environmental awareness from common, mundane and recycled materials."