Daphne was inspired by the Laurel tree in the Portland Botanical Gardens and the myth of Apollo and Daphne that has been interpreted widely in art and literature. According to myth, Daphne is transformed into a Laurel tree so she can escape the advances of Apollo.
In the words of Andrew Marvell:
The Gods, that mortal Beauty chase,
Still in a Tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that She might Laurel grow.
(The Garden, 1681)
This myth is pertinent in a contemporary environmental context where recognition of our relationship with the natural world and the interconnectedness of all life forms underpins the development of solutions to current issues.
Carmel Wallace's art practice focuses on a multi-disciplinary exploration of place in the context of environmental awareness and ethics. She has a PhD in this field. Her exhibitions include the Blake and Wynne prizes; Lorne Sculpture (2009, 2011, 2014); Montalto Sculpture Prize (2010, 2011, 2013); Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition 2010 (honourable mention); 37th Alice Prize (2012), and Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe (2013).
International and Australian residencies undertaken include SymbioticA at the University of WA. Major projects encompass Walk, where eight artists walked the 270km Great South West Walk track and produced works for a national touring exhibition; Illuminated by Fire, Portland (an 18m floating sculpture lit by pyrotechnics) presented as part of The Light in Winter on the Yarra River at Federation Square; the Stony Rises Project developed by RMIT Design Research Institute; and One River, a multi-state and territory arts project staged as part of the Centenary of Canberra celebrations in 2013.
A recipient of numerous awards, Carmel's work is held in the National Gallery of Australia and in other major collections. In 2012 her small sculpture To have and to hold was selected by Guy Abrahams as winner of the Scope Galleries Art Award – Art Concerning Environment.
fibreglass, plastic, recycled manufactured leaves
12.5 x 77 x 14.5 cm
Judges of the 2015 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Dr Michael Brand (Director of the Art Gallery of NSW), Penelope Seidler AM (Arts Patron and Director of Harry Seidler & Associates) and Barbara Flynn (International Curatorial Advisor).