Young artists share $15,000 new media art prize
  • Monday 02 February 2015

An interactive animation featuring a dancing panda created by Susan Bohmer has been announced the overall winner of the inaugural Sunshine Coast Art Prize New Media category on Friday, January 30.

To a packed Caloundra Regional Gallery, Judge Chris Denaro, Creative Lecturer at Queensland University of Technology, announced Susan Bohmer’s entry What the Face as the winning artwork.

“Intriguing and compelling” are the words Denaro used to describe the finalists’ artworks.

“To me the entries were adventurous explorations of the entire gamut of print, video, animation, projection and installation in art,” he said.

“I was impressed by the maturity of the work, especially given that some works were by recent graduates from tertiary and secondary education.

“Unfortunately there can only be one winner and in the end the work by Susan Bohmer, What the Face ,stood out as being well-conceived, playful and yet profound in exploring our humanity.
There is also a highly effective experiential aspect to the work, and of course a dancing panda!

“I would also like to make special mention of Isabella Summerfield's work, Reflect which shows incredible potential.

“The six finalist entries together with the Digital Disruption exhibition, demonstrates the richness of the local talent in this region.”

Susan Bohmer said she was very excited about being announced the winner of the prestigious New Media category of the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

“Taking out this Art Prize gives me a gigantic leap into the creative industry since graduating from the University of the Sunshine Coast with a Bachelor of Design and Communication,” she said.

“It shows potential clients and employers that I’m not just a graphic designer, but versatile in many areas and willing to have fun with a project.

“My entry, What the Face is an interactive animation made to engage and entertain its audience; where the viewer becomes the artwork. The viewer’s own face is projected onto an animated body, where your facial expressions will change to suit the moving scene around you. These scenes are pretty random and bizarre, hence the name, stimulating you to use every expression in your facial vocabulary. It was great seeing everyone giving it a go on opening night!

“The animation style is called rotoscoping, where each frame is hand drawn and played out like an old-school cartoon. The animation is one and a half minutes long and 12 frames per second, so that’s 1080 hand drawn frames and a lot of dedication!

“This project involved filming, editing, hours upon hours of drawing and one whacky sense of humour, so it’s great to be recognized for it. I’d like to thank Christian Jones, Ben Rolfe and Nick Hansen from the University of the Sunshine Coast and my fellow cast members Kirsten Gillaney and Grant Burnett.

“The two prizes will be life changing! Having the opportunity to be mentored by an industry professional, a residency and public exhibition is such a fantastic opportunity. I can’t wait to see what else 2015 has to offer.”

Sunshine Coast Art Prize New Media winners

Susan Bohmer: overall winner of the New Media category received prizes to the value of $7,000:
• $2,500 cash presented by Analogue Digital and University of the Sunshine Coast.
• a four week residency at The Old Ambulance Station, Nambour and a resulting exhibition in the Ground Zero Gallery, The Old Ambulance Station, valued at $2,500.
• a public exhibition of the artist’s work at a venue to be determined, supported by Caloundra Regional Gallery staff, valued at $2,000.

Lauren Edmonds: selected by sponsor Earth Base Productions mentorship to assist and develop the emerging artists' practice, valued at $3,000.

Susan Bohmer: selected by sponsor James Birrell Design Lab received public art project and mentoring, valued at $2,500.

Lauren Edmonds: selected by sponsor Analogue Digital received design and web promotional advice and the opportunity to showcase at Analogue Digital Brisbane 2015, valued at $2,500.

The Digital Disruption exhibition, on display until March 15 at Caloundra Regional Gallery, also includes the remarkable six-wheeled electric walking bubble blowing robot, absurd and whimsical machines, animations, projections and the Pixel Mosaic life-sized interactive artwork of colour and light.

Refer to council’s gallery website for more details, workshops and event bookings.

Caloundra Regional Gallery is owned and operated by the Sunshine Coast Council. Located at 22 Omrah Avenue, the Gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm.