Winner almost missed art award deadline

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

JAMES Hurley almost didn't enter this year's Martin Hanson Memorial Art Awards.

Three weeks before entries to the awards closed, he still hadn't painted his winning sculpture, and was considering giving the awards a miss.

'I figured I had to enter something, so I set to work on painting it and just got it in,' Mr Hurley said.

His sculpture, 'Man Mistake', won the coveted Martin Hanson Memorial Art Award at a ceremony on Saturday night.

'It completely spun me out to find out I'd won. I thought I had a chance at winning either the Murri Award or the Local Artist Award, but when they were announced and it wasn't me I thought 'Well, that's it' ? then they read out my name and I was just overcome with emotion,'' Mr Hurley said.

As a member of the Goreng Goreng tribe, Mr Hurley said his creation, made entirely from natural fibres, was inspired by the death of his uncle and had taken more than a year to complete.

He said the piece, a three dimensional sculpture of a turtle shell made from inter-woven sticks, represented the connections between people and the result was a carcass, which represented the dire state of the landscape due to human destruction.



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