Whale, Samuel Greer - Winner of the Inaugural AEU SA SACE Art Prize
Dash Taylor Johnson, AEU SA Vice President
Nuts, bolts, springs, spanners, scissors and a range of other metallic components are strategically buffed and bonded in Whale. What the artist has done in melding mechanical elements into the body of a species increasingly at risk, is to juxtapose human endeavour with our natural environment in an exquisite demonstration of artistic skill and manipulation of this medium.
Sam’s sculpture radiates calm, warmth and motion as his subject dives into an unknown future, a future that humanity will continue to shape. Whale challenges us to consider what sustainability really means for us, as individuals, as a community and as a race. This is a significant art work that aligns with our union values, our ongoing commitments to environment action and our respect for student agency. Whale, is an inspired work that takes pride of place as the AEU’s inaugural prize winner. Thank you, Sam.
Phoebe Gunn, AEU SA
The only work sitting, visually, outside the realm of portraiture in the AEU’s collection this year, is the inaugural winner of the AEU SACE Art Prize, Samuel Greer and his work, Whale. A sculptural juxtaposition of one of the world’s greatest creatures and representations of our environment, fused together with salvaged metallic materials – a stark and beautiful work exemplify the reality of our recyclable world and the connection to environmentalism.
It would be narrow-minded not to consider how this piece may fit within the concept of portraiture – a whale representing the identity of the earth, carrying the enormity of beauty that has evolved in its waters and what must be protected if our planet is to continue to sustain such life. Samuel mentions the significance of living in a coast town in his practitioner’s statement: identity is everywhere and in everything. Whale captures the identity of the earth that sustains us and the identity of its creator.