LOCAL TALENT: Ipswich artist Sharon McKenzie has won the Wayne Kratzmann Award.
LOCAL TALENT: Ipswich artist Sharon McKenzie has won the Wayne Kratzmann Award. Rob Williams

Exquisite Corpse masterpiece takes out prestigious award

IT'S not often you see the words "exquisite" and "corpse" used together but it was the perfect title for Sharon McKenzie's series of eye-catching artwork.

Using taxidermy specimens of endangered animals as her muse, the Ipswich artist created a masterpiece that has taken out the top gong at this year's Queensland Regional Art Awards.

The detailed artwork was made with the use of fine point pens and was featured in an earlier exhibition at the Ipswich Community Gallery in July.

She said the14-piece display showcased the endangered and vulnerable animal species within the region.

"I was allowed to work at the Queensland Museum's taxidermy studios where I had access to the animal specimens I wanted to sketch," Ms McKenzie said.

"The project took about eight months to complete…I went through a lot of pens and had some very sore hands by the end of it."

At the QRA awards, Ms McKenzie's submission won the Wayne Kratzmann Award, which came with a $10,000 acquisitive art prize and a funded residency in Brisbane.

Sharon McKenzie's artwork ' Exquisite Corpse' won the prestigious Wayne Kratzmann Award.
Sharon McKenzie's artwork ' Exquisite Corpse' won the prestigious Wayne Kratzmann Award. Leanne Vincent

Her artwork will also be part of a touring exhibition called Vital Signs, which will be displayed at key centres across Queensland in 2015.

Ms McKenzie said she was delighted that her work was about to get more exposure, not only from an artist's point of view but from a conservationist viewpoint.

"When I held the exhibition at Ipswich, it was wonderful to see so many viewers take an interest in the animals on show," she said.

"Since the artwork will now be featured in Vital Signs, it will help promote further awareness."

In addition to Ms McKenzie two other Ipswich artists; Donna Davis and LeAnne Vincent were also selected to have their work displayed in the exhibition.

Ms McKenzie, who has been an artist-in-residence at The Old Courthouse for the past few years, said it was amazing to have so much local talent represented in the tour.

"It advocates Ipswich as being a growing art community," she said.

The Queensland Regional Art Awards is an annual visual arts prize and exhibition for established and emerging artists living in regional and remote Queensland.



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