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First Prize for Mixed Medium (Sculpture) 2006

Amarilla and Corisca by Andrew Wielawski
"Amarilla and Corisca"
Artist:  Andrew Wielawski
Home:  Italy
Medium:   Marble and marble mosaic
Size:  200 x 200 x 200 mm
In the baroque opera 'Il Pastor Fido', by Guarini Battista, the two main characters are Amarilla and Corisca. They are rivals with different assets, and their contest is represented through dance.

A former car restorer, in 1980 moved to Pietrasanta, Italy, to study marble carving. Works in museums, public, and private collections throughout the world.

Art Dept Interview

As the winner of your category in the 2004 International Art Contest, being selected by such a diverse group of artists from all around the world, how do you feel?

I feel honoured, appreciated, and happy to have been recognized.

Please describe your current works and any plans for forthcoming exhibits.

In three days, I’m off to Florida to destroy one of my lesser works on exhibit in a plaza in Marco Island. Michelangelo did it, Leonardo too, and for me leaving only the best has great significance. And, accepting the responsibility for not having reached one’s maximum capability is something I think more artists should do, instead of blaming an ‘uneducated’ public. Google ‘destroying art’ to get the whole story.

If any, in what ways have you seen changes in attitudes towards "art"?

I think there’s too much acceptance of mediocre work as a cultural treasure. That’s a new phenomenon, and destined to push the general public further away from an appreciation of really good work.

Do you think that the fine artist will survive as technology replaces our skills?

Yes, I do. Technology is a tool that will find new uses in the hands of creative people.

What advice could you give to those embarking upon a career as an artist?

Pack as much knowledge and skill into your bag of tricks as you can stand.

Why did you enter the Art Dept contest and what decided your selection for entry?

I entered because I thought the contest was valid out of the many that seem ‘tricked’. I entered the piece I did because it’s my best.

Is there anything about being an artist that you do not like?

That’s a tough one. All the things that popped into my mind popped right out again for one reason or another. They all seemed to be the challenges, the hurdles to get over, that make art exciting for me.

Would you sell your most favourite artwork, or keep it?

Sell, definitely, because not having my best work around stimulates me to produce something extraordinary.

How important was education and training to you?

Both my university training, and after that, the study with master marble carvers in Italy, gave me the things I needed to do what I’m doing today.

Is there anything in your art career that you would have changed?

I would have liked to spend more time under a master.

If you were invited overseas to exhibit your works, where would you like that to be?

The place I’ve always dreamed of going, believe it or not, is Australia.

Are you looking forward to entering the contest for next year?

Yes. But I wouldn’t expect to win, although I’ll try my best to do so!

Do you recommend use of the Internet for an artist's publicity?


Would you change anything about how the contest is organised?

I don’t know how the contest is organized from your end, but from my end things went pretty smoothly.

How can the Internet be made better for working artists?

The use of search engine maximization by richer artists is a hurdle to get over. It’s not fair, and provides results not on the basis of the quality of an artist’s work, but on the basis of how much they spend. Money spent is a determining factor, and I think that’s a bad thing.



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