Sculpture by the Sea was pleased to announce the recipients of the EY People’s Choice and the Kids’ Choice Prizes as the 17th annual outdoor sculpture exhibition on the last Sunday of the exhibition on the weekend.
New Zealand-born, Fremantle based artist Tuinna Blackie has been awarded the EY People’s Choice Prize of $5,000 after visitors to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe voted her sculpture, ‘The Boab’, as their favourite out of 70 artworks by Western Australian, interstate and international artists.
Youngsters were drawn to the bright, colourful delights of Japanese artist Savako’s artwork titled ‘Dream of Cyprus’, voted most popular by children. The Kids’ Choice Prize of $2,000 is funded from the donation of Emrys, Jasper and Rebel Penfold-Russell OAM.
‘The Boab’ is a captivating, large-scale stainless steel structure sited by the water’s edge reflecting the sun, surf and sky and has attracted the attention of visitors and photographers across the 18-day exhibition.
Blackie commented on receiving the award, “I’m so grateful and thankful to receive the EY People’s Choice Prize. Thank you to EY, to Metro Steel Services for your support and to Sculpture by the Sea for giving me the opportunity to show my work. Finally, thanks to all the people who took the time to come to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe and vote for ‘The Boab’. In my heart, I knew it was something special but didn’t realise how special.”
The EY People’s Choice Prize is voted by visitors of the exhibition. EY’s Managing Partner Western Region Fiona Drummond said, “On behalf of EY, congratulations to Tuinna Blackie on her brilliant piece of art that has captured the hearts and minds of the people of Western Australia.
“EY is proud to be a sponsor of this iconic event for the past eight years. Every year the Sculpture by the Sea team puts together a fantastic exhibition that is enjoyed by all, providing an opportunity for the community to open, expand and inspire their minds.
“The past twelve months have been challenging for many of us, especially the arts community. So we are thrilled to see West Australians coming out to support these local and international artists right here on our stunning coastline of Cottesloe Beach.”
Standing 3.5m-tall and overlooking the beach from the grass above the water, ‘Dream of Cyprus’ is immediately visible, with its bright colours and shapes particularly appealing to the more than 2,000 children who have visited the exhibition in 2021 with schools or their families.
Upon receiving the award, Savako said, “I have been watching the exhibition from Japan via social media. I feel as if I am in Cottesloe myself when I see how everyone is enjoying the sea in front of them. I’m so happy to receive the Kids’ Choice Prize, it’s a great feeling.
“When I try to imagine something new, my mind goes back to my childhood. This is surprisingly difficult to do as an adult. A child with a free and pure mind is also a master for me. That’s why I feel that my master gave me this prize. Thank you very much. I would also like to express my gratitude to Sculpture by the Sea and everyone who helped make this exhibition possible.”
Founding Director of Sculpture by the Sea, David Handley said, “Congratulations to Tuinna Blackie and Savako. Their sculptures have been enjoyed by tens of thousands of people from Perth, WA and visitors from interstate. It is wonderful to have been able to stage the exhibition with this representing, for the public and the artists, one further step back towards a normal life as we hopefully start to put COVID behind us.”