Too close to call! Three-way tie for EY People's Choice Award at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottlesoe
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Too close to call! Three-way tie for EY People's Choice Award at Sculpture by the Sea, Cottlesoe
Marcus Tatton, ‘Viral Escape’, Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020. Photo by Clyde Yee.

COTTESLOE.- In a dramatic end to Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe 2020, three artists – Mikaela Castledine and Ayad Alqaragholli from Perth and Marcus Tatton from Tasmania - will share the EY People’s Choice Prize of $5,000.

With only one vote between the three works, organisers decided to share the prize given voting had been cut short due to the early closure of the exhibition on Thursday 19 March after news that community transmission of COVID-19 began in Perth.

Art collective Cool **** was awarded the Kids’ Choice Prize of $2,000 for ‘Homer Homer’, a 5m high inflatable head combining Homer Simpson and a bust of the Greek philosopher Homer. The prize is voted for by children who visited Cottesloe Beach during the exhibition.

Castledine’s crocheted polypropylene penguins ‘Black Emperors’ delighted visitors as they wandered down the groyne at Cottesloe Beach, while Alqaragholli’s figurative bronze work, ‘Anta Omri (You Are All My Life)’, of two figures kissing won hearts. Tatton’s wood and steel work ‘Viral Escape’, conceived last August, of three large viruses that sat upon the white sands of Cottesloe Beach, no doubt had people in deep reflection.

Upon receiving the award Tatton said, “Cottesloe is a stunning contrasting venue for my sculptures from the wilds of Tasmania. Thanks to the everyone for receiving ‘Viral Escapade’ as a metaphor for many of the unknowns in contemporary society. I really look forward to coming back to Perth soon.”

Perth artist Castledine said, “I love that everyone can have their own conversations with my sculpture, without my being there. Ultimately this is the point of a piece of art, to break free of its origins to exist in the world on its own merits. Thank you to everyone who visited the exhibition and everyone who made it possible.”

Iraqi-Western Australian sculptor Alqaragholli said, "I am really, really surprised and excited. This award will give me and the other artists more opportunities for our careers. Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed Sculpture by the Sea and voted for my artwork."

EY People’s Choice Prize is voted by visitors of the exhibition. EY’s Managing Partner Western Region Fiona Drummond said, “Congratulations to Ayad, Mikaela and Marcus on their fantastic sculptures, they definitely captured the hearts and minds of the people of Western Australia,” said Ms. Drummond.

“This is our seventh year of sponsoring Sculpture by the Sea and the EY People’s Choice Prize and we are very proud to be involved. The exceptional artists of this year’s exhibition have demonstrated the positive contribution arts make in our community. That is why EY is committed to supporting the arts as they play a critical role in contributing to a diverse culture and community and in educating and inspiring our people.

“Thank you to David and the team at Sculpture by the Sea for ensuring the people of Perth continue to enjoy this unique and world class exhibition.”

Said Founding Director David Handley: “We have had an exhibition in three stages: the excitement of installing, the wonderful public response and an early close for public health reasons. So, we thought it only fair to rule one artist out by one vote from the several thousand cast for the EY People’s Choice Award. The more people who are happy at this time the better. Thank you to everyone for being so welcoming and supporting the artists and the exhibition. One way or other we will see you next year!”

This year marks the 16th anniversary of Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, which is Perth’s largest free to the public event, attracting an estimated 210,000 visitors to explore the art and creating Perth’s own version of the Italian passeggiata with thousands of people wandering among the sculptures on Cottesloe Beach at sunset each evening.

Seventy sculptures were on display from a broad range of West Australian and interstate artists, as well as a large gathering of international artists from the USA, Japan, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Portugal and Greece.

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