I just got back from Wentworthfalls TAFE where I attended the awards ceremony for the Blue Fringe Arts Festival. I have entered once before many years ago. But the festival has become more well known and prestigious since then.
I arrived a bit late (I'd gone to the wrong venue) and missed 15 minutes of the first speech which was being given by John Fenely, the Commissioner for Mental Health NSW. He gave a great speech about how mental health issues need to be addressed at a community level before hospitalisation becomes an option. One of the things he said which really struck me was "As humans we are exceptional because we are so complex". (I spoke to him about it afterwards and he spoke passionately about the diversity of humans being something which makes us great).
Then the awards were presented and I heard the Highly Commended Prize for textiles and craft go to Monique Donaldson. Her entry was an amazing Regency gown. I heard someone behind me say "she only got Highly commended?".
And then they announced the winner for the textiles/craft section and they said my name.
I got up nervously and I was shaking. They took my picture and presented me with a certificate and a sealed envelope (which I later discovered had a cheque in it). It felt quite surreal.
Here I am with my entry which I called Plumage. The judge was Pam De Groot, an international textiles and felt artist. I am shocked and delighted.
This is probably a better photo of the entry.
I think Monique's entry was just as worthy of first prize, but I am very grateful for the prize and the cheque, which will go towards buying my daughter a piano (and aiding in her recovery from depression as well).
Sorry I haven't updated in so long. I really must write more often.