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Tuesday 11 August 2009

2008 Aesthetica finalist, Sonja Benskin Mesher, enjoys further acclaim as the only artist from Wales to be selected for the International Drawing Comp

Exciting news from the Aesthetica Creative Works Competition continues to stretch far and wide, with one of our finalists, exhibiting in Poland this year. The International Drawing Competition reviews drawing of recent years, from the broadest perspective.

Curator, Prof. Pawel Frąckiewicz recognises the honest, organic qualities of drawing as an art form: “Drawing is a discipline that still represents the most direct and elementary language of art, as some people claim, drawing is its basic alphabet.
In the case of drawing, the distance between an artist and material trace left by him is usually very small. There is no barrier created by tools. In our understanding, drawing is interpreted as an attempt to touch experience in the course of its happening, when the experience and its record become one. Then the drawing could be identical to the gesture, as an elementary and instinctive reaction of man towards the world and its stimuli.” Works will be showcased at the Old City Hall – Municipal Museum of Wrocław from November 20th 2009 to January 10th 2010 so we’d like to extend our congratulations to Sonja.

Sonja came to Aesthetica’s attention with the striking artwork, Winter Fever, in the 2008 Aesthetica Creative Works Competition. Judge, Cherie Federico says: “Sonja’s work immediately struck me through her bold use of colour. The Winter Fever piece envelops you, absorbing the viewer. It’s really perfect for a gallery space but the fantastic thing about the annual is being able to bring these beautiful works to a wider audience.”

Sonja’s drawing work showcases her chameleon like qualities. The colours still grab you, but in a more discrete way. My favourite piece is Watching, Waiting, it has an almost mournful quality, evocative the short grey days at the British seaside (I love English (and Welsh!) seaside towns in the winter, there’s such a faded grandeur, almost dilapidated beauty about them), with one glowing red sphere, hinting at an almost Famous Five sense of fun. On the one hand it’s an idealised nostalgia (something that Grayson Perry dissects in detail in this month’s Aesthetica), but with a glimmer of tongue in cheek playfulness.

Ultimately Sonja displays exceptional skill across mediums, and this is something that we’re looking for with this year’s competition. There’s still time to enter your work into any (or all!) of the three categories: Artwork, Poetry and Fiction. Please click here for full details.

[Image credits: Estuary, Winter Fever, Watching, Waiting. Sonja Benskin Mesher]

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