A CITY sculptor and his wife have scooped the top two prizes in one of Scotland’s leading art exhibitions.
Kevin Dagg, 42, and Natalie Taylor, 41, from Crewe Road, came first and second in Aberdeen Artists Society’s renowned annual open exhibition winning cash prizes of £3000 and £2000 respectively.
Sculptor Kevin’s piece, entitled Breaking Point, which was skilfully carved over four years from a piece of acer wood, was chosen as the winner by leading Fife artist and former Turner Prize nominee David Mach.
Meanwhile, Natalie’s tapestry, which is based on the Jacques Le Moyne painting Daughter of the Picts, was awarded second place.
The couple, who have two children aged seven and four years old, are “delighted” with their placings in what is one of the main events in the Scottish arts calendar, attracting many top professional and amateur artists from around the country.
Kevin, who works part-time as a lecturer at the Edinburgh College of Art, said: “We’re both very glad with the result. We just submitted some works and for an artist such as David Mach to judge our work as the best is quite an honour.
“There’s no bad blood or competitiveness between Natalie and myself – after all, it all goes in the same pot.”
In total over 500 pieces were submitted by artists from all over Scotland with Mach then picking the winners from a shortlist of 238 works of art.
Explaining his winning £25,000 work, Kevin said: “It’s a piece inspired by a picture of an abused Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib and it took me four years and several thousand hours to sculpt.
“There’s a lot gone into the making of this piece, especially in regards problem solving the anatomical parts. It’s been a bit of a labour of love. It’s the first nude I’ve done and I’m really pleased with the final work.”
This was the second successive year that celebrated artist Mach officiated.
He said: “The standard this year is even better than last year but the winning entry just jumped out at me – it would not be out of place at any gallery in the world.
“It made me want to go and get a set of chisels and start carving. It is inspiring.”
The pieces will now remain on exhibition at Aberdeen Art Gallery until June 29.