FORMER student of the Ballarat Grammar School, Eben Ejdne, has won the coveted People’s Choice Award for the Art Gallery of Ballarat’s Next Gen exhibition. Visitors to the Next gen exhibition have had the opportunity to vote using ipads installed in the exhibition space. Eben won the Award from the field of 59 artists represented in the exhibition, receiving over 14% of the votes received.
The $300 Award is the gift of the Ballarat Society of Artists and will be presented to Eben by John Canham from the Society at the Gallery on Easter Monday.
Eben’s work was a large oil painting on board called Between the Lines. In his statement about the work he said, ‘In modern times, the desire for women to look perfect has never been higher and with the rise of social media and advertising, a specific image is now marketed to the masses: skinny, white, sexy but unique enough to appear different from the beauties of yesterday. Even those deemed the most beautiful are pushed to alter their appearance in order to conform to the unrealistic ideal of Western culture. Cosmetic surgery is more common now than ever, the lines that are drawn before a procedure to guide the surgeon are a simple representation of the social pressure to look perfect — which is often not what one looks like originally.’ Gallery Director Gordon Morrison said that the exhibition of work by graduating VCE students was a vital part of the Gallery’s exhibition program.
‘This is the twenty-first year that we have mounted an exhibition of work by the previous year’s VCE students. It is a core part of our education program, giving students the chance to work with a professional gallery in exhibiting their work, setting a benchmark for this year’s students to aspire to, and giving general gallery visitors an insight into the world of young people in a very meaningful way.’