Wave of change takes out Peebles Print Prize

October 2, 2019 BY

Ocean Grove artist Joel Wolter has won this year’s Peebles Print Prize (PPP) presented by Queenscliff Gallery and Workshop.

Joel’s 2017 print “The Wave of Change” – which is part of a series featuring about four works – took the top spot as judged by Geelong Gallery director Jason Smith and master printmaker Bill Young.

Having entered in the inaugural PPP (2017) and not achieving success, Joel said he was pleasantly surprised and humbled to learn of his win.

“I guess I was in a little bit of disbelief, it was quite a surprise. There were a lot of great artists in it… I definitely wasn’t expecting it.”

Joel said he’s been printmaking for almost 20 years, with the Bellarine artist completing his Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2002.

His artworks have been exhibited in a sweep of respected exhibitions and galleries including the Geelong Acquisitive Print Awards, the Rick Amor Print Prize, the Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, Print Traditions – Sources of Australian Printmaking and the Fremantle Print Awards.

He said what he loved most about printmaking was its uniqueness.

“I really like the history and tradition of it, and how it’s a pretty untouched and preserved medium.

“There’s quite a few characteristics that come with it too that are quite unique. It’s quite atmospheric as well as the incidentals that happen (when printmaking).”

Joel’s winning print “The Wave of Change” is a visual ode to the risks of climate change and rising sea levels – a message inspired by its political relevance as well as his love for surfing and the ocean.

He said he was grateful to the gallery, Graeme Peebles and the PPP19 judges for the opportunity, exposure and generous prize.

Thanks to his PPP19 title, Joel has walked away with return economy airfares, accommodation, one week of art/print courses and full access to the facilities at Scuola Grafica, Venice.

Andrew Totman received the Highly Commended Award for his work “Down to the River” and pocketed $2,000.

The People’s Choice Award will be announced online on November 24.

For more information on Joel’s art, head to joelwolter.com.au.


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