So it is no surprise that he is this year’s joint first prize winner of the prestigious Wootha Prize wood sculpture, and was the Peoples Choice for his red cedar door, Terra Australis (pictured right).
The award was announced at this year’s Barung Landcare, Wood Expo in Maleny, a two day event visited by 6000 visitors from throughout the state.
Jack Wilms admires the consistent deep red colour and easy-to-work texture of red cedar that have his sculptures decorating many properties on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland and other parts of Queensland.
“Red cedar was used extensively for furniture, wood paneling and construction in the early days,” says an admiring Jack,“including shipbuilding, and it was referred to as “Red Gold” by Australian settlers. It is still sought after and treasured today, particularly by me.”
Perhaps because Jack is a migrant from Europe that he draws continuing inspiration for all his artwork from the unique Australian environment. Terra Australis is an abstract organic scene filled with iconic images – cockatoo, kookaburra, platypus and a host of other insects and plants.
“Australia’s geographic isolation means that much of its flora and fauna is very different from species in other parts of the world,” says Jack. “More than 80 per cent of Australia’s flowering plants, mammals, reptiles and frogs are unique to Australia, along with most of our freshwater fish and almost half of our birds.”
Jack loves the blank canvas of a red cedar door for his flora and fauna creations. “That’s why I specialise in carved red cedar entrance doors with a difference,” he says. “ I have just completed a Great Barrier Reef themed door for some clients in Mapleton, and I am about to start a set of 2.5 metre high double doors for a client who is building a new home in Montville.”
Amongst his Sunshine Coast work, Jack carved the entrance doors to the reception of Montville’s Secrets on the Lake, as well as many other features in this
highly acclaimed accommodation house. This year’s Wootha first prize winning door ‘Terra
Australis’will be on display at Jack’s gallery, Obi Valley Woodworks which he runs from home on weekends with his partner, Monica.
Jack said “the people’s choice award means so much to me because you are receiving the opinion of the public, and being a commercial artist this is very important.”