17 September 2008: It was announced at the Brett Whiteley Studio in Sydney's Surry Hills, that Amber Wallis from North Fitzroy in Victoria is the winner of the tenth Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship for her work Untitled landscape, 2007, mixed media on paper.
127 entries were received from around Australia, 22 of which are included in the finalists’ exhibition, on show at the Brett Whiteley Studio until 30 November 2008.
30 year-old Amber Wallis is studying at the Victorian College of the Arts, (part of the University of Melbourne) for her Masters in Visual Art. She is a part-time practicing artist and has participated in several group and solo exhibitions.
Amber Wallis was born and raised in Bondi, Sydney and has lived in Canberra and the Northern Territory. Wallis said: My work explores personal memories. I’m interested in collecting stories and rescued moments, threading them together to form visual narratives. I am highly influenced by colour, the experience of creating line and the effect of random mark making.
Untitled landscape forms my recollection of an un-photographed memory of the country property 'Clea', thirty minutes outside of Captains Flat in rural NSW. Merged with other memories, a dark undercurrent is ubiquitous, starkly contrasted with the colourful mark making that exemplifies the beauty of the land.
Mrs Beryl Whiteley was awarded an OAM for the creation and endowment of the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship. The inspiration for this annual scholarship was the profound effect of international travel and study experienced by her son, Brett Whiteley, as a result of winning the Italian Travelling Art Scholarship at the age of 20.
The Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship is open to Australian artists aged between 20 and 30 years. The winner is awarded $25,000 and a three-month residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, which is administered by the Art Gallery of NSW.
The judges for the 2008 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship were; artist, Nicholas Harding, Art Gallery of NSW Director, Edmund Capon and Barry Pearce, the Gallery’s Head Curator of Australian Art.
Nicholas Harding comments: Amber’s work reveals a poetic transformation of experience. Emotions, feelings and materials have fused in a lyrical abstraction where we move through a field of inventive mark making, carried by a playful disposition of varied form, colour and line.
The Brett Whiteley Studio is managed by the Art Gallery of NSW.Principal sponsor Brett Whiteley Studio