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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 June 2007, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Tea pot and mugs wins art prize
W.I. by Walter Keeler

A tea pot and nine mugs by ceramicist Walter Keeler has won the top prize at the 2007 Welsh Artist of the Year competition.

The Monmouthshire artist, himself a former Welsh Artist of the Year judge, received 2,000 for his piece W.I.

Twelve other artists won awards in a ceremony at St David's Hall, Cardiff on Sunday, including Robert Harding whose sculpture addresses terrorist issues.

The winners and 130 other pieces will be exhibited there until 10 August.

Mr Keeler, also an Eisteddfod winner, was singled out by the panel of judges for his "extraordinary achievement" in producing the salt-glazed pieces.

Judge Duncan Ayscough said the tea pot and mugs encapsulated Mr Keeler's work at its best, and said his body of work had the same power to effect the viewer as a Norman Foster building or Barbara Hepworth sculpture.

"Effortless skill combined with a joy and understanding of social and ceramic histories, blended with a dry humour," said Mr Ayscough of W.I.

Judging the entries (Picture: Nick Treharne)
Judges spent two days assessing more than 450 entries

Others honoured included Virginia Head from Cardiff who came second for her video art piece Pelegrina - the first time in the competition's seven year history an entry of this kind had been short listed and recognised by judges.

Margaret Crossley from Cardiff was also commended for her sculpture Recyclists, which was fashioned entirely from copies of the Yellow Pages.

Judges in the competition - which was open to any artists over the age of 18, living and working in Wales, and any Welsh artists living in the UK - sifted through around 450 entries in March to pick the winners and pieces for the exhibition.

The show's curator Ruth Cayford said they felt the final collection represented the best of the Welsh art world.

"It's encouraging to see renowned artists like Corrie Chiswell and Emrys Williams, exhibiting alongside new and emerging talent, like Rachel Loosemore from Mountain Ash who won the student award for 'Entropy'," said Ms Cayford.

"We hope the exhibition will encourage new and emerging talent to submit their pieces next year."




SEE ALSO
Tables turn for eisteddfod judge
02 Aug 04 |  South East Wales
'Welsh Lowry' paintings on show
16 Mar 07 |  South West Wales

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