Plight of rough sleepers inspires winning artwork

‘8200 Souls’ by Britt Mikkelsen (found object, resin and LED lighting)

Australia’s most significant thematic Christian art prize, the Mandorla Art Award, has this year been awarded to West Australian artist Britt Mikkelsen for her artwork on the homeless crisis, 8200 Souls. Source: Eternity News.

Mikkelsen has won a $25,000 acquisitive prize, sponsored by St John of God Health Care.

“The draped figure in this artwork is pierced with 8200 holes, with each individual hole representing every person who sleeps rough in Australia each night. Confronted with homelessness almost every day, the challenge for us all is to see the humanity behind the problem. It is easy to walk by and to ignore the person beneath the blanket, and as such the homeless have become invisible,” reads the artist’s statement about the work.

“But under every blanket, and every cardboard box, is a shining soul with a story not unlike our own. This unsettling figure represents the homeless crisis, but the work is also a self-portrait of humility. It asks us to be less judgmental, empathise with others and to love everyone regardless of their situation.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the award, with last year’s award delayed due to COVID-19. The award saw 144 entrants create works based on Micah 6:8: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

The Mandorla Art Award is held every two years in Perth.


8200 souls sleeping rough in Aus inspire Mandorla Art Award winner (By Kylie Beach, Eternity News)


$42,000 Mandorla Art Award opening to the public 20 March (The eRecord

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