Emerald’s Raelene Bock never thought her skill set would include welding and soldering.
But art can take you in interesting directions.
The wire artist and her collaborator Michelle Gray took out two prizes at the 2020 Central Highlands Annual Art Awards on the weekend for their piece ‘Girl in the Rain’.
Raelene said they were both very excited to win the People’s Choice Award and first in the three-dimensional works category.
‘I’ve always done a little bit of something, I can paint and do all sorts of mediums, but now I mostly do wire work,’ she said.
‘I started out very simple and have learnt all sorts of techniques from welding to soldering, you name it. My husband and friends have had to patiently teach me.’
Raelene said she started working with Michelle, who blows glass, about five years ago when a mutual friend suggested they could combine their skills. Since then they have worked on a number of joint pieces.
‘When we collaborate, we like to do something substantial, that you feel a part of and can walk around,’ she said.
‘Michelle came up with the brain wave for ‘Girl in the Rain’ and then we worked out how we would make the vision come to life.
‘We wanted to have the effect of translucent rain, like a light summer shower, but the rest is up to interpretation. Where is she going, what is she up to?
‘Each time we collaborate it pushes us a little further than before to try a new technique or style.’
The awards attracted 82 entries from across the state this year and were presented at the exhibition opening in the Emerald Art Gallery on Saturday 1 August 2020.
Mayor Kerry Hayes, who hosted the evening, said it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the arts, in all styles and mediums.
‘Well done to everyone who submitted an entry,’ he said.
‘The creativity, technical skills and variety was just wonderful. I was very impressed and encourage anyone who missed the opening night to drop into the gallery and take a look.’
The exhibition will remain open until 3 September 2020.
Raelene said she couldn’t wait until next year’s awards and urged artists of all levels to get involved.
‘Just have a go, look where it can take you,’ she said.
For the full list of winners head here.