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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 June 2007, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Singer's image in beads for prize
Sarah Gwyer's Influence of Strangers
Miss Gwyer has also made beaded images of Madonna and Victoria Beckham
An image of singer Charlotte Church made entirely from beads is among the work shortlisted for the Welsh Artist of the Year 2007 competition.

The piece, by Cardiff-based student Sarah Gwyer, took five months to make.

She said the "excessive workmanship" she put into her creation reflected her own time spent considering celebrity.

Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham are also featured in work by Gwyer, who is from Gloucestershire.

The overall winner and those successful in seven categories will be announced at a ceremony on Sunday.

The 134 artworks, including paintings, sculptures and video art, will go on display in the exhibition at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Monday.

The winner will receive a cheque for 2,000.

Their piece and the rest of the art works, selected by judges from around 450 entries, will be on display at St David's Hall until 10 August.

For me Charlotte Church represents Cardiff's current regeneration and its vibrant social scene
Artist Sarah Gwyer

Previous winners in the competition's seven year history have included Sally Moore, who won with her painting Changeling in 2005, and Ruth Harries who was successful with her textile entry Anticipation in 2006.

Both were among the judges for this year's competition - which is open to artists over the age of 18, living and working in Wales, and any Welsh artists living in the UK.

Miss Gwyer spent five months making the image of singer and TV chatshow host Church from the beads she had collected since childhood.

Entitled Influence of Strangers, Sarah's piece is part of a series which also features Madonna, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham.

Study for a Small and Modest Pocket Sized Last Supper by Warren Williams
Mr Williams, from Neath, reinterpreted Da Vinci's The Last Supper

It was also inspired by living in the Welsh capital for two years.

"I wanted to create a tribute to my time here, something bright, colourful and eye-catching," she said.

"For me Charlotte Church represents Cardiff's current regeneration and its vibrant social scene.

"The main aim of the piece is to question the influence celebrities have on our everyday lives.

"I used the excessive workmanship beading requires to emphasise how much time that I, at least, have spent considering the world of celebrity."

Robert Harding's Spiky Bowl
This sculpture was influenced by images of bombs from attempted terrorist attacks

The exhibition will feature pieces by established artists such Emrys Williams, Corrie Chiswell and Walter Keeler.

Sculptor Robert Harding has addressed issues of terrorist threats through his work and there is also an interpretation of Da Vinci's The Last Supper by painter Warren Williams.

"It's a very diverse collection this year," said the exhibition's curator and judge Ruth Cayford.

"Some of the art is very thought-provoking and challenging and addresses some of the issues of our time, we are committed to presenting a diverse exhibition that will provoke open debate."

As well as the overall honour, there will be two runners-up awards, category prizes for best photograph, sculpture, applied art, painting, print and best student and four pieces of work will be highly commended.




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