Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Biblio Art Awards, 2014

Recently Jo Canham, Director of Blarney Books and Art in Port Fairy, invited me to be a guest judge of their 6th Biblio Art Awards, along with local artist Essie Warmuth.
The announcement of the Grand Prize. From left: judges
Essie Warmuth and yours truly, with Dean and Jo from
Blarney Books and Art

This year’s Biblio was launched last Saturday evening to a packed gallery. Judging an award is, at best, a hugely responsible, daunting - and almost inevitably, subjective task. The sheer range of astonishing, inventive work made the process doubly challenging.

Avril Makula, What Katy Did, 2014, artist book

The prize winning entry, What Katy Did, an artist book by Avril Makula, is playful, knowing, elegant, aesthetically and technically assured. It also ticks all the boxes in relation to Biblio’s brief, particularly in the manner its methods and materials are integral to the story, in this case a spirited re-telling of the  hoary old novel by Susan Coolidge. Avril’s altered book cheekily restores Katy’s independent “Tomboy” spirit that during the course of the original cautionary tale is cruelly - indeed, sadistically - wrested from her.

The other award winners were Polyanna Guthrie (Youth Award); Helen Fitzhardinge (Blarney Books and Art Storytellers Award); Anne-Maree Hunter (3D award – sponsored by Bluestone Magazine). Nine-year-old twins Tom and Darcy Lynch also received an encouragement award for their entry. 

From right, Essie Warmuth, my fellow Biblio judge with
her partner Susan and my partner Shane Jones

Working with fellow judge, Essie was an absolute pleasure. Jo and Dean of Blarney books were generous, thoughtful hosts, who we really enjoyed getting to know during the course of the weekend.

  It was a delight to see some familiar faces.
From left: Jazmina Cininas, David Frazer and Fiona

For more about the winning works visit Blarney Books and Art HERE.

For a detailed account of the Award Night, read the article in Bluestone Magazine HERE.