Bundaberg artist Paul Perry has a thought-provoking entry in this year’s Queensland Regional Art Awards.
Bundaberg artist Paul Perry has a thought-provoking entry in this year’s Queensland Regional Art Awards.

Thought-provoking artwork reflects on life in isolation

ISOLATION has caused the world to feel a range of emotions and through his entry in a prestigious statewide competition, one local artist has shown not even a silver, or gold lining can take away the turmoil caused by cabin fever.

Anyone who lives in Bundaberg will likely recognise the unique and stunning mosaic work by local artist Paul Perry.

 

Bundaberg artist Paul Perry has a thought-provoking entry in this year’s Queensland Regional Art Awards.
Bundaberg artist Paul Perry has a thought-provoking entry in this year’s Queensland Regional Art Awards.

 

From the 47 turtles installed along the Bargara Turtle Trail to his pieces scattered throughout the Bargara Headlands Estate and a beautiful piece which hangs in the Bundaberg Cancer Care Unit, as a touching tribute to the late Sharon Benson.

Now in the midst of working on his Milbi Magic project, which features an 31m long panel, set to be installed at the two toilet blocks at Archie's Beach, Mr Perry has also entered the Queensland Regional Art Awards and his thought-provoking entry speaks volumes.

"I'm not expecting to win the award - it would be great if I did but I would really love to be selected as a finalist which will mean this piece will be part of a touring exhibition which will go all around Queensland next year," Mr Perry said.

"It gives you as an artist a profile on a statewide basis, recognises the high level of artistic skills that we have in Bundaberg and from my perspective, it will hopefully get people to ask about mosaics as an art form and maybe even link it back to the (Milbi Magic) project which will draw people to the region to see this big community mosaic."

 

Paul Perry’s piece entitled ‘Shimmering Gold’. Picture: Sabrina Lauriston
Paul Perry’s piece entitled ‘Shimmering Gold’. Picture: Sabrina Lauriston

 

Entitled Shimmering Gold, the piece demonstrates this year's awards theme of decadence and the Bundy artist has certainly put the word gold in goldfish.

Using shiny, pearly glass to create the sea, Mr Perry transformed a brown paper bag into a decadent mosaic artwork.

"In one sense, it is the concept of a goldfish being stuck in the bag and what it feels like to be cooped up inside like we have been this year with COVID-19," Mr Perry said.

"It's about recognising isolation but also using this year's theme of decadence as a way to try and overcome it."

 

‘Shimmering Gold’ by Paul Perry. Picture: Sabrina Lauriston
‘Shimmering Gold’ by Paul Perry. Picture: Sabrina Lauriston

 

The piece which was also part of the Cross Gallery's Paper Bag exhibition was voted as People's Choice and took about 80 hours to complete.

Vote for the entry here, before September 14.

Read the full artist statement below:

Who will forget 2020 and the impact of the coronavirus on our lifestyle, especially in regional Queensland?

Further isolated within isolation; only dressing up to put the rubbish bins out, zooming into our smart screens for social relief … when the flaky internet connection allows, peering out our front window and sharing the view.

Even our beloved shopping trips restricted and under strict social isolation conditions, now I understand the goldfish dilemma.

This calls for decadence; a shimmering facade for the isolated goldfish, no matter which angle you take … glistening, glittering, and even glowing.

Makes one feel much better, but at the core, it's still just life in a paper bag.



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