Milton-based artist Juz Kitson is in line to win one of the most prestigious awards in Australia.
Juz is a finalist in the Wynne Prize which is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture.
"I'm thrilled to be a finalist in one of the most prestigious awards in Australia," Juz said.
"It really is an honour to be selected as a female sculptor amongst so many painters and fellow artists I've admired for a long time."
It's easy to see why her work is in line for the award.
"My work is incredibly challenging both in the making of it and the audience's response when in its presence," she explained.
"It has an undeniable tension to it and holds the viewer's attention in awe, as the overall scale is all-encompassing and overwhelming when seen in the flesh."
Many South Coast residents would be drawn to Jaz's piece - above.
"The work represents the aftermath of the summer wildfires that ravished the surrounding lands and devastated the community," is how to describe it.
"It reflects on the opposing themes of vulnerability and strength, and an undeniable tension.
"It captures 'the beauty of the dark trees vitrified by fire, despite the charred remains that lay like ruins.
"The porcelain elements appear to bristle as if in fight or flight, prompting the audience to acknowledge the entanglements between humans and nature."
Her work will soon be on display and the winner is expected to be announced this Friday [May 13].
"I've worked for the last decade to push the boundaries of a traditional material such as porcelain to the utmost of extremes and see it [the work] exhibited on a contemporary platform in a space such as the Art Gallery of NSW is definitely a career highlight," the Milton artist said.
Finalists in the Wynne, Archibald and Sulman Prizes 2022 will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales from May 14 to August 28.
The Wynne Prize was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne and was first awarded in 1897, marking the official opening of the Art Gallery of New South Wales at its present site.
Juz, before finding a base in Milton, spent some time overseas.
"I'm Sydney born though have been based in Milton since mid-2018. Before the pandemic I held a permanent studio for 9years in an ancient porcelain city called Jingdezhen in China where I split my studio time between there and rural Australia," she said.
"A few years ago after spending time in a bush shack in Congo on the South Coast and falling in love with the natural environment and rugged terrain.
"I decided to set up my studio and home and now Airbnb, affectionately titled 'The ArtHouse Milton' to be able to re-create a mini version of what I spent so many years developing in China.
"It's a space for myself to live and work in a creative sanctuary but also make it available to others by hosting experimental ceramic group workshops and give back to the community in a way that no one else was offering on the South Coast," she said.
Her workshops are much sought after and popular.
"I host up to nine intensive workshops a year with 18 participants in each and they are very popular which is great," the Milton artist said.
"The workshops attract all sorts of people from across Australia from HSC students, emerging artists, and creatives, corporates, entrepreneurs to established artists."
She is currently represented by Jan Murphy Gallery Brisbane and Dominik Mersch Gallery Sydney with a show coming up in September at Sydney Contemporary Art Fair along with several commissions this year.
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