THE 8TH WOOTHA PRIZE
The Wootha Prize again formed the feature exhibition at the 2015 Wood Expo. The Planting the Seed theme inspired entrants to create an artwork or piece of furniture crafted from wood. Some entries took the form of sculptural works while others responded with a more abstract interpretation. Judges Linda Nathan, Editor of the Australian Wood Review and well-known furniture makers, George Gavaric and Ross Annels, were unanimous in their decisions.
Peter Stibilj, a Sydney furniture maker, won the major $2,500 cash prize sponsored by HQ Plantations, with his ‘Glide’ cocktail cabinet featuring tambour doors, glass shelves and internal mirror back. The cabinet was made from small sections and offcuts of Tasmanian blackwood with ebonised, slimline, spotted gum handles. Its restrained design, pared back proportions and fine detailing, succinctly illustrated how commercially lower value wood can be used to create a high value piece. Fostering a greater appreciation of wood and its value, was the seed Peter was trying to plant.
Brenda Walker from Bundaberg, Qld won 2nd prize of $750 sponsored by Queensland Water and Land Carers, with her piece, ‘The Journey’. What presented as a ‘simple’ shell form was a finely shaped form sculpted from sections of hoop pine. Male Richmond Birdwing Butterfly hatched 19 March. Photos: Lynette Hill The laminated pieces had been cut in a sequence, each larger than the one before, seeking to ‘portray the gradual and incremental growth of the Nautilus shell’, as Brenda wrote in her artist’s statement. The hoop pine was an offcut from a wood chopping competition and became ‘fertile ground’ for this artist’s imagination.
Third prize of $500 sponsored by Timber Transitions, was awarded to Richard Vaughan, Brisbane furniture maker, for his ‘Seeda Pearl Box’. A shell form sculpted from salvaged jacaranda, contained a single black ‘pearl’ which drew on the idea of how pearls can be created by seeding. In contrast to the smooth blond interior, the outer surfaces of the box were chiselled and ebonised. All-wood hinges were a subtle touch and the box rested on a shaped, integral red cedar base.
Each year a People’s Choice Award of $500 is also sponsored by HQ Plantations, and this year, local Jack Wilms from Cedar Creations won with his piece ‘Bold Prediction’