St Albans artist named finalist in Australia’s Stencil Art Prize

St Albans artist John Feeney's (Grafeeney) stencil artwork: "After the storm - love lost to the sea"

St Albans artist John Feeney's (Grafeeney) stencil artwork: "After the storm - love lost to the sea" - Credit: Image supplied

The winner of this year’s Stencil Art Prize in Australia has yet to be announced, but the work of one of the finalists – a St Albans artist – has already been snapped up by an admirer.

John Feeney is one of the 65 finalists from 18 countries, including Mexico, Iran, Norway and France, of this year’s Stencil Art Prize, the only large-scale award in the world that recognises and rewards stencil artists.

The artist, who did graphic design work on a Flash Gordon comic series, street art for Rise of the Planet of the Apes and recently displayed his work at Childwickbury Art Fair, submitted his stencil art depiction of a photo he took of Southwold beach titled ‘After the Storm – love lost to the sea’.

John’s piece, entered under the pseudonym “Grafeeney”, is a 35cm high and 80cm wide stencil of a photo he took after “the chaos” of a big storm.

The 35 year old explained: “That day there was a more tranquil fury; the natural light was intense and waves were crashing hard.

“The view is from the beach by the pier. The people I was with at the time laughed as I got soaked by a wave taking this photo.”

After the Storm is dedicated to someone who suggested he tried painting landscapes, something of a change from his spray-painted depictions of super-villain The Joker and Breaking Bad character Walter White.

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And on Sunday, John’s piece was the first artwork to be sold a month ahead of a four-day exhibition.

John said: “I’m happy it’s through to the finals as it is nice to get the recognition, and to be the first to sell is a good feeling because I’m aware of who I’m up against.”

The winner of the 2014 Stencil Art Prize, who will receive AUD$3,000, will be announced on October 16 at the start of the exhibition at aMBUSH Gallery in Sydney.

The competition ran as an Australian-only prize from 2009 until 2012.