Stunning sculptural work steals the Thiess show

Master of Visual Arts graduate Angela Rossitto has won the annual Thiess Art Prize for her labyrinthine installation Mind Maze announced last night at the Queensland College of Art.

Rossitto’s work entailed cutting up thousands of pieces of material and then spending over a thousand hours putting them back together again.

She used objects from her local environment including fallen tree branches and objects scavenged from the streets during Brisbane’s curb-side collection program.

She then wrapped and bound them using a variety of pre-loved fabrics and materials, including curtains, tablecloths, shoelaces, tea towels, plastic, gift wrap, singlets, jumpers, wool, towels, socks, ribbon, bed sheets, raffia and blankets.

Rossitto completed an undergraduate visual arts degree at Griffith in 1998 before undertaking a Bachelor of Education also at Griffith. As an art teacher at Runcorn State High School she encourages in her students a love of art.

“I did some workshops with students while I was creating the piece to show them the process I was going through. It’s wonderful to have my time and effort recognised with this accolade,” she said.

Fine Art Honours graduate Carly Scoufos took out a Highly Commended award for the second year in a row for her sculpture — Traditional Viscosity 2007 — made from seven kilometres of wire. In 2006 she won Highly Commended and the People’s Choice awards for her massive wire sculpture Unstable Surface Tension 2006.

Highly Commended also went to Fine Art Honours student Tilo Reifenstein for his lithograph and screenprint The Travails of Young Stephen Ikaros 2007 while Master of Visual Arts student Sonya Peters was awarded the Philip Bacon Commendation for her charcoal drawings and photocopies on paper bags — To draw breath, from ‘The paper bag series’ 2007.

Other artworks in the exhibition include a piece featuring 990 self-portrait drawings and works from two emerging artists more than 60 years of age.

The Thiess Art Prize offers more than $5000 in prizes, and the public is invited to vote in the popular People’s Choice award category which will be announced in January.

The Dell Gallery @ QCA, South Bank, is open Wednesday-Friday, 11am-4pm and Saturday-Sunday, noon-4pm.