Marlies Oakley's matchbox collage has impressed the judges in a prestigious art award, with the local resident receiving the runner up prize for her tiny creations.
Marlies was so sure she wouldn’t be accepted as a finalist in the 2021 Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale Art Award that she sold the collage she had originally entered.
“Normally when I apply for competitions, I never get accepted and know I have no chance, especially the ones in big cities like Brisbane,” she said.
“After I was accepted, I told the Lethbridge that unfortunately this one has sold, but I’d be happy to swap it for another in the same series.”
Marlies got to work and just 12 hours later she had whipped up another stunning artwork made up of 100 matchboxes filled with individual collages.
Each matchbox sized collage tells its own unique story and reflects ‘Thinking Inside the Box'.
“Were all living in our own little worlds, in each matchbox there’s some stereotype,” she said.
“But if you look closely there’s quirky little elements and that's the fun bit, I giggle at myself when I make them.”
This was the first time Marlies had entered the Lethbridge Art Award, where first prize is a staggering $20,000.
“One thing stood out that they were looking for – originality. I’ve definitely got that!” she said.
“I think it’s great that a collage got appreciated and recognised, my aim is to let the world know that collage is an art form as well.
“It’s not just cutting and gluing. I’m using old books and magazines, cutting images from them and telling new stories with them.”
Marlies took home the $1,000 cash prize for her runner-up position and her matchbox collage piece has now sold for $1,450 while on display at the Lethbridge Gallery.
“Now I’m working on the third one in the series, and a new collage idea that no one has seen before,” she said.
“I’m thinking now that I’ve won once I can do it again!:
The 250 finalist artworks in the Lethbridge 20000 Small Scale Art Award exhibition are on show until June 26 in Brisbane and an additional 500 are available to view online.
For local artist interested in entering their work to competitions, Marlies said to try the Bundaberg Art Prize.
“Entries are still open for the Bundaberg Art Prize, the website is up and running and artists can fill out the entry online and make something amazing to put on show,” she said.