A recent graduate of the graphic design program at Holland College was the P.E.I. regional winner in a national art contest for his digital print titled, A Year in Review.
Aidan Searle said he was encouraged to enter the BMO 1st Art! competition by his instructor and decided to enter that print.
"I didn't really make the piece for the competition at first. I wanted to test out some new techniques and a different approach in style that I'm kind of out of my comfort zone I guess in terms of how I executed it," he told Mainstreet P.E.I.
Searle said it took him 20 to 30 hours to work on the digital print and after showing his instructor, was urged to enter it rather than another he had planned on.
"It has a lot of meaning to me as well. It has a lot of inside glimpse of my life I guess during the time."
Searle describes the piece as an anatomical drawing of a side view of himself — a side view of his organs.
"Inside the different organs and body parts there's just kind of little stories I guess, little illustrations."
Searle said he usually doesn't put his life into his art.
"At the time I did the drawing I was having a really hard time quitting smoking so my lung is a drawing of a black ocean with like cigarette butts in the ocean and there's a lighthouse on the side of the black tar or go and it says 'stop hurting us' on the lung."
The print was one of 12 regional winners selected from 303 entries and with the win, Searle won $7,000.
His work will be displayed with others at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto from Nov. 16 to Dec. 16.
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