Over ninety entries, around 40 artists representing local, national and international talent, almost 2,800 votes, and it all comes down to this…the winner of the People's Choice Award 2013 is JesseOlwen for Bling!
Bling scored a staggering 471 votes, or approximately 17% of the total votes, but there were some other high-scoring entries: Shao Hui's Give it a smile received an impressive 379 votes; Nokay's Recolonization received 340; and Anopsy's Curiosity scored 203 votes.
As fate would have it, the Canadian artist, who currently resides in South Korea, was in Launceston for the Breath of Fresh Air Film Festival. Launceston City Council's Mayor Albert van Zetten presented Jesse with a $500 winner's cheque and certificate at the Council-sponsored session on graffiti called Whose Space is it Anyway?
On winning the Award, Jesse said, "I feel sad for the people who know me well; they must think I'm completely insane. I'll have to stop while walking from A to B just to admire a nice beam of light on a pile of garbage, then I'll be lost thinking about why that struck me for the rest of the day. When a site affects me like that it's just a matter of time before I find the right piece to make for the space. If I miss the chance to contribute an idea using the site it'll haunt me.
"Beauty is sometimes found in unexpected places. No one should be allowed to tell you what is beautiful and what is not - it's not something you should even think about. If an object or place is beautiful, it will tell you it's beautiful. Diamonds or dumpsters - you don't choose; in the moment, it chooses you."
Well said and congratulations, Jesse!
Now stay tuned for the announcement of the ten Off the Wall finalists - coming this Friday 6 December!