Erika Dueck, National winner of BMO 1st Art! Awards: "The Ephemeral Mind" Mixed media installation (E. Dueck)
My inspiration came from my own childhood understandings of how memories functioned.
—Erika Dueck, artist and national winner
Artist Erika Dueck is $10,000 richer and can now count BMO as one of her patrons.
She is one of two recent graduates from the University of Manitoba School of Art who received awards from the BMO 1st Art! Invitational Art Competition.
The annual competition selects one national winner and 12 regional winners from across the country who each receive $5000.
Dueck's work stood out from the field of 250 entrants to earn her the top prize of $10,000, which celebrates the creativity of art students from post-secondary institutions across Canada.
Her prize-winning piece, The Ephemeral Mind, is a mixed media installation that will become part of the BMO Corporate Art Collection. Her work will join the ranks of other Canadian artists, including Emily Carr, Lawren Harris, Wanda Koop and Kent Monkman.
Hillary Smith was the Manitoba regional winner, receiving $5000 for her porcelain, glaze pencil, gold lustre, mixed media work entitled Phrenological Petrifactions
SCENE asked the winners to describe their award-winning work:
Erika Dueck: The Ephemeral Mind
This piece looks at our minds and memories. There are six miniature interconnected rooms that are housed within a swirling paper shell that seems to glow and hover in mid-air. Within these rooms are various types of shelving and storage systems. Some areas of the mind have been forgotten, represented by the lack of light within the inaccessible spaces, yet they remain right next to areas that are regularly accessed.
My inspiration came from my own childhood understandings of how memories functioned. I imagined that the mind resembled a large filing room that required recurrent visits in order to maintain information's availability.
If memories were placed in a room and not accessed often enough, an individual could potentially forget the existence of an entire room and its memories. In order to prevent this loss, I regularly practiced "memory cleaning" days throughout my life, systematically revisiting important "files" which allowed me to retain some memories from as young as two years old.
Hillary Smith: Phrenological Petrifactions