First Prize Winner – Congratulations to Mary Engel for Leitah. All Rights Reserved.
Rhino sculpture covered with bullets.
The animal archetype as it is found in diverse cultures’, whether similar or disparate, is fascinating to me. The first intentional burials with ritual objects occurred 35,000 years ago and, with them the first expressions of human faith appeared. Among these objects, a predominant burial image was the animal. The use of ritualized animal images has had enduring religious, mythic, and aesthetic significance. A love for animals combined with these significances make animal images central to my work and philosophy. For me, these images symbolize a bridge between the rational and instinctual worlds.
Leitah, a rhinoceros, is the largest in my most recent body of work of endangered animals sculptures covered with ammo. I build using wire; mesh and hydrocal then cover with epoxy and ammo. Each piece is built from the paws or hooves up, is hollow and unique.
Leitah is named after a young woman in the Black Mambas, the first all-female anti-poaching unit patrolling the Balule Nature Reserve.
Congratulations, to Mary Engel for a spectacular piece of work. Take a look at more of her wonderful work at www.maryengel.net.
Second Prize Winner – Congratulations to Bonnie Kuhr for Plight of the Monarchs. All Rights Reserved.
Monarchs have a twofold risk of becoming extinct. It is well known that the Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed plants. Once hatched they only eat milkweed plants to survive. With the encroachment of humans on the lands where milkweeds grow the population of the Monarchs is in danger. The second devastating cause is global warming. One effect of global warming on the Monarchs is cold weather precipitation. So when rain follows a cold front the butterfly’s mortality rate soars. Made entirely of natural fibers; the butterfly wings come from the Dracaena plant, the body and antennae are from the Proboscidea plant. Lateral plaiting makes this wonderful spiral that symbolizes the monarchs hanging from a tree branch clustering to stay warm. This piece is kinetic allowing the Monarchs to turn in the breeze. Below are two milkweed branches placed as a cross to symbolize the disappearance of the food that larva need to survive. This sculpture is my contribution to raise awareness.
Third Prize Winner – Congratulations to Thomas Norpell for Fossil Tusk. All Rights Reserved.
To transform a contemporary object into a fossil is to put that object into a new context where we can’t help but perceive it differently. To look at one is to momentarily reside in the future as we look back into the present. Faux Fossils are a form of sculptural science fiction. In the sculpture submitted, Carved Tusk, a carved ivory tusk depicts an elephant train with trunks and tails entwined. Though ivory carvings are considered artful by some, others believe this fashioning of body parts into trinkets represents the ultimate trivialization of a majestic species.
Congratulations, Thomas. To see more of his work, please go to www.flickr.com/photos/thomasnorpell