finalist Judges

Trevor Weekes

Trevor is a painter, and sculptor and works on paper artist. Born in Orange, Trevor Weekes has studied at the National Art School and Canberra School of Art. Between 1976-78 he studied a Diploma in Art at the Alexander Mackie School of Advanced Education. In 1994 Weekes graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, and in 1999 he received his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Newcastle, NSW.

Weekes is inspired by animals’ ability to adapt and evolve to ever-changing environments. In 2005 Weekes spent time in France at Zootheque, the Natural History Museum’s archive, which houses over eighty thousand bird specimens. While there he produced over five hundred sketches of birds. His resulting body of sculptures and paintings were based on hybrid and fantastical species of birds – birds that exist in the infinite possibilities of nature’s (and Weekes’) imagination.

To date, Weekes has had over twenty-five solo exhibitions since 1979 and he has exhibited in over forty group exhibitions. He has completed many commissions and is represented in numerous collections, including Artbank, Burnie Art Gallery, College of Fine Arts, John Darnell Collection, Hamilton Regional Gallery, Muswellbrook Regional Art Gallery, Macquarie University, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, New England Regional Art Museum, South Australian College of Advanced Education, State Bank of New South Wales, The Australian National Gallery, The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, The Visual Arts Board, Toowoomba Rotary Club, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie Regional Art Gallery, the University of Newcastle, Araluen Arts Centre, as well as private collections in the USA, Britain, Spain and Australia.

Rachael Pearson

Rachael is an Australian curator, educator and academic currently based at New England Regional Art Museum as the Art Museum Director.

For over 15 years, she has worked as an independent and institutional curator within university, commercial, public and artists run spaces. Her recent experience includes being the Manager, Exhibitions and Curatorial at New England Regional Art Museum where she delivered multiple programs including curating HINTON: Treasures of Australian Art, a permanent salon display exhibition from NERAM’s Howard Hinton Collection.

Prior to coming to NERAM Rachael was the Curator for Digital Media at QUT Precincts (Queensland University of Technology), where she curated and managed their exhibition program focused on contemporary digital, new media and technology based creative practice. Showcasing groundbreaking new media and digital artwork from local and international artists, these exhibitions offered access and opportunities to a broad range of audiences to discover and engage with creative technology and art. Rachael also curated the inaugural exhibition program at Side Gallery, a curated space dedicated to providing opportunities for emerging and established artists, illustrators, photographers and designers to show their work in an environment open to experimentation and newly developed practice.

In 2012 Rachael joined Brisbane-based artist-run initiative Vegas Spray as a Co-Director to facilitate a range of programs and platforms that support and promote the cultural ecology of Brisbane including BNE Art and the Brisbane Experimental Arts Festival. Rachael has also been an arts educator since 2008, tutoring in a range of art theory and Creative Industries units at Queensland University of Technology.

FIRST ROUND JUDGES

Jann Kesby

Drawing inspiration from her surroundings on the north coast of NSW, Jann plays with textures and neutral colours to create functional tableware for the considered home.

Jann’s training began in a production workshop on the outskirts of Sydney during the 1970’s with hands on practical training. This was followed by a traineeship at Sturt Craft Workshops, Mittagong – the first production workshop established in Australia.

Following her traineeship, Jann moved back to the Mid North Coast of NSW where she established her own workshop, specialising in wood firing.

Jann has gained Certificate IV in Visual Arts, taught in Arts & Media through TAFE NSW, presented at and attended workshops, conferences and residences internationally. She was the manager and coordinator of the Dunghutti Ngaku Aboriginal Art Gallery from 2009 to 2018.
Jann’s work is held in public and private collections throughout Australia and internationally

Michael Sprott

Artist – Curator – Installer

Michael is a Sydney-based artist, working predominately in transparent resins. His works explore repetition and variation in nature through changes in sculptural forms.
His work can be seen at michaelsprott.net

He has exhibited in a variety of gallery and outdoor exhibitions including:
Sydney Botanic Gardens – Fungi x Botanica – 2021
Be Brave Gallery – Avalon – 2020
Sydney Pop Gallery – Hunters Hill 2019, Mosman 2020
Sculpture@Bayside – 2019

He is currently working with Artspace Gallery, Woolloomooloo and National Art School, Biennale of Sydney, Articulate Gallery Leichhardt, and See Street Gallery, Meadowbank  

Ella Szpindler

Ella studied sculpture at Kenar Art School in Zakopane, Poland and completed an Art Certificate at East Sydney Technical College (now the National Art School).

She works with any material to embody an idea.

Ella works with a group of artists called Club Le Pot. They meet regularly at the Workshop Art Centre in Willoughby.

Her beautiful artworks reflect the sculptural forms of te natural environment from which she draws inspiration.