Anita Cummins from Monash University was awarded the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize in 2019.
The 2019 Schenberg Art Fellowship was judged by Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA) Director Amy Barrett-Lennard, Ted Snell, Chief Cultural Officer of UWA Cultural Precinct, and curator and writer Alison Kubler.
"The artist’s clean minimalist approach is married with a visually enticing, olfactory and emotionally charged experience. The work triggers feelings of nostalgia and hunger in equal measure while revealing the artist’s marvellous ability to transform the status of a mundane junk food snack to that of an elevated art material, reminiscent of pigment," said the judges.
(L-R) Alison Kubler, Anita Cummins, Amy Barrett-Lennard, Brenda McGivern. Photograph by OK Media.
feelings is a site-specific installation that embodies the psychological and physical processes of concealing, containing and releasing emotion. After mindlessly devouring entire boxes of Cheezels following intensive therapy sessions, Anita contacted Snack Brands Australia, the manufacturer of Cheezels, to ask for a sponsorship deal to produce the work. feelings embodies the attempt to restore one’s intolerable emotional state to that of happiness or pleasure through the proxy of short-term gratification. Like the layer of Cheezels carpeting the floor of the gallery and wafting their scent through the space, emotions can also be difficult to contain, leaking out of the body through tear ducts, facial expressions and body language.
I got out of bed today, the companion work to feelings, was made by methodically measuring and hand-cutting cheezel boxes into thin strips, the pieces of which were then rearranged to form an anamorphic image. The audience is denied access to the ideal viewing position for this work, which is blocked by a 3-metre wide layer of dense yellow-orange dust. Viewing is restricted to a vantage point that completely obscures the image from its original form.
Anita Cummins, feelings, 2019, crushed Cheezels, and I got out of bed today, 2019, cardboard boxes, glue. Hatched: The National Graduate Show 2019, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. Photograph: Bo Wong