An artist’s sculpture based on found objects and trauma has won the 2019 TWT Excellence Prize.

Joshua Reeves’ winning sculpture Lower Middle Arse was selected from over 150 student submissions presenting their final projects at the A&D ANNUAL 19.  

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) graduate explores tough times through a more playful and humorous lens in the sculpture. He says he used “junk and everyday objects, especially objects that have been in [his] traumatic memories” to “create a space that is accessible, multilayered and sensitive”.

“The work is a retelling of stories, feelings, and truths with an openness to playful iterations of hard times,” he says. “I love making people laugh, and I’ve found jokes and humour to be a really great way to open up conversations around domestic abuse and trauma.”

He says writing and drawing are also central to his practice.

“I’m always drawing the objects I find and moving them around the page. It’s a very productive space for me to generate ideas and keep my ideas flexible before I make sculptural decisions.”

Established in 2017, the TWT Excellence Prize is awarded to the top graduating artist announced at the opening of the A&D ANNUAL 19.

This year’s exhibition is the largest national showcase of graduate contemporary art and design with UNSW Art & Design students presenting work across four venues. The exhibition encompasses film, animation, photography, sound, digital media and graphic design, as well as painting, object design, sculpture, printmaking, and textiles.

“UNSW Art & Design has an outstanding record for producing critically acclaimed artists and the ANNUAL 19 exemplifies this,” says Dean Ross Harley. “We are proud to produce the next generation of cutting-edge artists and designers.”  

Mr Reeves’ winning artwork was selected by the 2019 judging panel, which included Art & Design Deputy Dean Marie Sierra, Deputy Head of School (Design) Dr Mark Ian Jones, academic Debra Phillips, and artist Caroline Rothwell.

The TWT Excellence Prize shortlist included Art & Design graduating artists Holly Dixon, Sian Kelly, Lisa Dwyer and designers Forough Najarbehbahani and Anqi Gao. Ms Gao was highly commended for her work Ocean Coffee Dream

The A&D ANNUAL 19 Graduate Exhibition runs until December 14 at UNSW Art & Design Paddington.

Find out more about the A&D ANNUAL 19.