Art hewn with tips from Mother Nature

SOMERS artist Christabel Wigley is making a name for herself by taking out the people’s choice prize in the Mt Buller Sculpture Award.
Nanjing Night Net

Her massive-scale art piece, Irene, has taken up prime position on the Mt Buller landscape.

An impressive seven metres high and five metres wide, the piece stands out against the mountains.

Made from 300 fragments of burnt wood, the sculpture was inspired by the harsh weather conditions.

Larger than life: Christabel Wigley with her sculpture Irene at Mt Buller.

“My piece is like a very big tidal wave or cyclone,” Wigley said. “The Mt Buller landscape is awe-inspiring and I wanted to make something that would fit into the amazing backdrop.”

Wigley created the piece at her Hastings workshop, where all her art pieces are created.

She moved to the Mornington Peninsula after living in New York for a decade.

“We found this house in Somers and it was like a dream. We fell in love with it.”

Wigley, 49, an artist for more than 20 years, has been focused on creating mega-scale sculptures since 2004. “I love playing with scale.”

She said the Great Wave of Kanagawa by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai was a piece that drove her to the ferocity of nature.

“The painting has always inspired emotion in me and when the tsunami hit Japan it stirred something in me. My work is inspired by the drama of a natural force. I love that fear and pleasure and the possibility that something can strike at any time.”

Wigley won the $10,000 people’s choice prize for the Mt Buller Sculpture Award but said she was happy just to be able to create a piece for the striking landscape.

“Just to be one of the 22 artists accepted in the prize is a terrific achievement. There are not many places like Mt Buller and it’s great to be able to create something for that landscape.”

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