Year 12 Kyogle High student, Emily Ferguson, won the Tursa Art Prize Grand Champion award with her piece  Trapped Soul.
Year 12 Kyogle High student, Emily Ferguson, won the Tursa Art Prize Grand Champion award with her piece Trapped Soul. Cathryn McLauchlan

Teen wins art prize for thoughtful piece on eating disorders

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl from Kyogle has become the Grand Champion in the 2016 all-ages Tursa Art Prize.

In her artwork titled Trapped Soul, Emily Ferguson takes a thoughtful look at the prevalent issues of body image and eating disorders.

"I've drawn a girl, she's looking down and her rib cages are showing,” she said.

"That just shows her eating disorder and how deeply its affected her.

"It also shows her mind's misconceptions about beauty and weight.”

Tursa Art Prize judge, Rhonda Armistead, described the piece as "poignant and encouraging”.

"This piece shows maturity and makes me want to free the trapped subject,” she said.

"The coloured background feels like the wings to fly.”

The art prize runs alongside the Lismore Show each year.

There are three prizes up for grabs including the Acquisitive Prize, Grand Champion and The People's Popular Choice Award.

Emily said she would like to save most of her $500 prize money, but would spend a little bit on new art equipment.

She said her interest in art began at the age of seven.

"One day I sat at a desk and started drawing and I drew a picture of a lighthouse and the sea, and it was the moment I realised I loved art,” Emily said.

"It makes me express myself.”

When Emily completes Year 12 at Kyogle High School next year she wants to study art at University or TAFE, with the dream to become a professional artist.

"I hope to become either a fine art artist or photographer - and I'd like to be a mural artist,” she said.

"I'd also like to continue doing art like this to raise awareness about issues in the community.”

She said she has an interest in nutrition and philosophy, and would like to find out more about both topics after graduating from high school.



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