Kalamunda-based artist in line for 2016 Art Prize

Mikaela Castledine’s Damage.
Mikaela Castledine’s Damage.

KALAMUNDA-based artist Mikaela Castledine has been announced as one of the finalists for the 2016 Bankwest Art Prize, one of the state’s most generous and prestigious visual arts awards.

Under the stewardship of curator Sandra Murray 60 entries were assessed and shortlisted to 16 finalists.

Perth-born Castledine trained at Deakin University, Leederville Tafe and Curtin University, and has exhibited widely.

She was winner of the Rio Tinto Sculpture Inside Award as part of this year’s Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe, the Melville Art Awards Judges Choice in 2015, the Lions Club Kalamunda Art Awards in 2015 and the Sculpture Scholarship, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe in 2013.

Her piece for the Art Prize, Damage, is a work the artist said was a response to media reports on child suicide.

“The stack of hand stitched discs, which range from luminous light green to dark blue, represent years in a life and the holes cut through the work represent the accumulated damage that can lead to despair,” she said.

“Deliberately cutting into the discs with their hundreds of hours of careful work is an act of brutality designed to evoke similar feelings in the viewer.

“Making a work that is both beautiful and damaged shows the possibility of redemption and allows contemplation of this terrible subject in a way that is bearable.”

Speaking about being shortlisted for the awards she said, “the Art Prize treats artists in a very professional way by choosing finalists based solely on their past CV and trusting them to produce a wonderful new piece”.

“It is a rare thing to have that confidence bestowed on you and it produces a corresponding desire in the artist to live up to that faith and to do their very best work,” she said.

Ms Murray said the high standard from this year’s finalists was testament to the remarkable prowess of sculpture in the state.

“I am thrilled with the selection of finalists for this year, ranging from well established artists to mid-career and emerging sculptors,” she said.

“The contrast between experience and innovation will add to the excitement of the prize and I look forward to what promises to be a dynamic and captivating exhibition.”

Bankwest managing director Rob De Luca said Bankwest continued to be a proud and passionate supporter of the arts.

“I am excited that the 2016 Art Prize has delivered such a strong field of finalists, including a considerable number of new entrants this year,” he said.

“It’s pleasing to be able to provide artists with the opportunity for their works to be displayed in a professional gallery in their home state.”

The winner will be announced on November 22, with the sculptor awarded $30,000.

Their winning piece will become part of the Bankwest Art Collection, a collection of more than 450 works by WA artists.

The Bankwest Art Gallery will host a public exhibition showcasing all of the finalists’ artworks from November 23 to March 10 2017.