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Amber's award entry poses artistic question on the economy and the environment

Amber's award entry poses artistic question on the economy and the environment

Published:07 February 2018

CQUniversity Visual Arts student was named as finalist in the recent 2018 Contemporary Art Awards for her piece, "What's the Cost".

CQUniversity Visual Arts student Amber Countryman has received further recognition for her work, this time being named as a finalist in the 2018 Contemporary Art Awards.

The Queensland Government supported award receives entries from across Australia and the Rockhampton mother’s piece, What’s the Cost, combining lumps of coal with satin gloves and jewellery stood out from the crowd.

Amber, whose art is constantly inspired by the environment said she wanted to use the piece to ask if the economy, jobs and personal fortunes held more value than the environment.

"The artwork itself is expressing my concerns for proposed coal mining projects and the consequential effects on our environment.... and trying to consider the reasons others don't share the same concerns,"she said.

"It came about as a direct result of studying art history and theory at CQUni with Carmen Grey. The research opened me up to consider what art and conceptual art in particular, is. I used these thought processes, my imagination and environmental concerns to produce "What's the cost?'

"I entered the Contemporary Art Awards 2018 to actually to deal with some personal rejection issues. Building resilience seems to be essential in this industry. So after talking with my other teacher Pat Connor during class and receiving some valuable advice from him, I decided to test myself.

"I sent off my entry without anticipation, but really expecting to hear back that I had not been successful....and being ok with it. I was stunned and excited to be selected as a finalist."

Other works by Amber include a mural she created at the Yeppoon foreshore – a mosaic made from recycled and broken plates and tiles, highlighting the impact of plastics on the marine environment.

For more information about the Contemporary Art Awards visit