A pair of artists who celebrate the very essence of the Strand Ephemera took out the 2017 Ephemera People’s Choice Award, announced yesterday.
Marion Gaemers and Lynnette Griffiths, the artists behind winning People’s Choice piece Ancyent Marinere…are those her sails, enjoy working with materials that, by nature, are short-lasting.
Marion said the name of Townsville’s sculpture festival was part of the appeal.
“I think one of the big drawcards to the Ephemera for me is that a lot of my work is ephemeral – I love the idea of artwork forming an event as opposed to sitting in a gallery or being collected; getting it outdoors and celebrating it. Initially that’s what the Ephemera was, the artwork included wasn’t meant to last long, there weren’t many solid works. But over time, there’s been more of a demand for the solid lasting artwork so that has been introduced over the years – while still keeping a number of the ephemeral pieces involved in the event as well,” Marion said.
“Our piece this year is made out of fishing net and ocean rubbish so won’t break down, but normally I use plant material and other short-lived elements. I’ve been involved in every Strand Ephemera since it began, and this is my second time collaborating with Lynnette on a piece included in it. Outside of the Ephemera, Lynnette and I work together a lot – she is currently in Singapore packing down an exhibition we had over there in collaboration with Erub Erwer Meta, an art centre on Darnley Island in the Torres Strait.
“That exhibition is now travelling from Singapore to the South Australian Museum where it will showcase for the rest of this year.”
Ancyent Marinere…are those her sails received 220 of the 1578 votes from the public – an impressive percentage, when all 31 contenders are taken into account. Runners up were Joy Heylen’s The Crab and John Heard’s They are Biting Well on Money Today.
“The Ephemera is so important because not only does it raise Townsville’s profile, but it gets locals who never go into galleries in front of artwork and appreciating it.
“From an artist’s perspective, it would be incredible for the Ephemera to be annual rather than every two years – but that would mean a lot on the plate of the Gallery Services team – it’s a big job, and definitely wouldn’t be cheap to put on. They do an incredible job. It was great to have it coincide with the Pop-Up North Queensland (PUNQ) Festival this year too, which increased numbers at both events and really brightened the city.
“I volunteered four times during the Ephemera and really enjoyed standing near the artwork without people knowing who I was – so I did get to see a lot of their reactions to the artwork, and even all the feedback towards the artwork online was brilliant. One thing a lot of the visitors to the Strand said was that it was fun to have a People’s Choice – and anyone who told me what they voted for had a different favourite. Each work was loved by many people.”
Ancyent Marinere…are those her sails has been packed down, however is available for showcase at festivals and events. For more information, contact the artists. Find Marion Gaemers exhibiting as part of Umbrella Studio contemporary arts’ annual Members’ Exhibition from 17 November – 17 December.