Former Loreto student takes home art prize

A former Loreto student, Julia Mendel, has taken out the top award at the 2007 Clancy Prize for religious art for Sydney's secondary schools with a mixed media work comprising photography, sculpture and printmaking.

Ms Mendel who arrived 20 minutes after the presentation of awards at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) National Gallery at Strathfield last Friday was the last to know of her award, the Catholic Weekly reports.

"People started congratulating me and I wasn't exactly sure why I was thanking them," she said.

Julia, a former student at Loreto College in Sydney's Kirribilli says she was surprised that her major art work for the HSC had taken out top prize in the eighth annual competition organised by Sydney's Catholic Education Office and ACU.

Less surprising is why Julia was late. She was travelling from Canberra where she is now studying Art History and Curatorship at the Australian National University.

"I hope to be an art curator one day, but we'll see," she adds modestly.

Julia's winning artwork is an installation of the theme of the exhibition - "Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another".

Julia says she used a combination of photography, sculpture, print making and found art, to create a contemplative environment and encourage people to be self-reflective just as the scripture reference is suggestive.

One of the four judges, Lachlan Warner, Curator of ACU's National Gallery and Senior Lecturer in Visual Arts and Design, said that Julia's artwork stood "head and shoulders above the other works".

Mr Warner said he was impressed with the quality of all the works and surprised that "teenage artists have a real awareness of contemporary art practices".

One of these works came from former Christian Brothers' High school student, Andrew Elchah, who won the Mons Tony Doherty award for his work "Portraits of Infinite Beauty: shades of self".

Coen Young, a former student at De La Salle College, Cronulla, received the new Brian Jordan award in recognition of his artwork titled "Self portrait with Piero's Baptism of Christ", for depicting a portrait of himself.

Julia last to know she won art prize (Catholic Weekly, 1/4/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Clancy Prize (Sydney Archdiocese)

Outback image lights up Blake Prize (CathNews, 1/9/06)
Opening tonight for Blake Prize Melbourne viewing (30/6/05)
Blake art prize winner 'evokes humanity in all' (CathNews, 22/11/04)
Poetical ribs take religious art prize (CathNews, 13/11/03)

29 Mar 2007