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ECU Student brushes past the best

Thursday, 08 November 2012

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Edith Cowan, School of Communications and Arts Honours student, Elizabeth Marruffo, was recently recognised as one of Australia’s up and coming artists in the 2012 Mandorla Art Award. Not only was Elizabeth one of only 65 national finalists, but her painting, ‘Born of a Woman’, was sold at an exclusive exhibition at Perth Town Hall.

The Mandorla Art Award for contemporary religious art has been running since 1985 and has attracted a number of Australia’s best artists. The award focuses on an alternate theme each year inspired by a verse of the Bible. The artists are required to draw inspiration from the theme and interpret it in their own way. This year’s theme was ‘Born of a Woman’.

When asked how she was inspired by this year’s theme Elizabeth said “I was really excited and motivated by the Biblical theme as it presented an opportunity to focus on the important and powerful role of Mary as the mother in the story of Jesus and his life”.

Kiki Smith, an artist she was studying at the time, inspired the idea for her artwork.
“I decided to draw and paint a portrait of my son and myself to describe how Mary and Jesus were real people with real flaws and feelings, and to focus on the importance of the mother to the child”.

Elizabeth credits ECU as one of the reasons for her success. Being an Art honours student she was often short on time and said “ECU helped enormously as I had access to a dedicated studio space on campus for 24 hours a day. I was working with ECU lecturer Greg Pryor as my supervisor who is an amazingly talented painter and a walking library when it comes to knowledge about painting and contemporary art. It was fantastic to have an encouraging mentor who is also an inspiring example of how to persevere in the art world”.

As one of the 65 artists, Elizabeth was invited to exhibit her work at the Perth Town Hall from Saturday, 11 August to Sunday, 19 August 2012. Saint John of God Hospital, a major sponsor of the exhibition, bought her painting for their collection that will now be displayed in the hospital.

Elizabeth has also recently been selected as a finalist in the Portia Geach Award in Sydney for her work ‘Milkteeth and Ghostgums’ – a work from her ECU honours exhibition.

For more information about the Mandorla Art Award please visit the Mandorla Art website.

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