Winner of Australia’s richest art prize

Winner of ‘The Signature of Sydney’, Gala night and Auction for Make A Wish Foundation, at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney Australia on 13, December 2006. This is me giving my winner speech. Photos: Christian Mushenko

Winner of ‘The Signature of Sydney’, Gala night and Auction for Make A Wish Foundation, at the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, Sydney Australia on 13, December 2006. This is me giving my winner speech. Photos: Christian Mushenko

Lynda Howitt Artist, Winning artwork

Becoming $150,000 richer opened the doors of opportunity for me.

The brief was to create a new, contemporary icon of Sydney and capture its real spirit - with its people, architecture, nature and all the modern business that fill this city with life. The Sydney Kiss - An artwork that is as iconic as Sydney itself... A kiss is symbolic of passion, spontaneity, commitment and fun. It’s a touch of something that becomes part of you - it’s The Sydney Kiss.

The little bit of Sydney that rubs off on you, the lipstick that remains, like a sign off, a signature. It’s an expression of affection. It’s a feeling you get when you are there. It’s a lifestyle, it transcends all issues and multi cultures it’s recognised the world over. It’s the living and thriving action of the city captured in a kiss.

There’s was a need for the artwork to be light, fresh, fun and not painfully technical to keep with the spirit of Sydney (we are lucky). There’s a little cheekiness, an inward smile, an impulse and passion.

The use of the iconic Sydney skyline becomes part of the kiss, take a second look and you see it, showing that not everything is evident on the surface of our city (like lipstick it’s just the outer attraction). Between the lips lies the heart, the harbour. When you are in there you feel totally alive and surrounded by vibrancy as a few boats sail by. For me it was important for every detail of Sydney to be encased within the 1 image. It gives it power, impact and feeling of being holistic. We all work and live together.

Creating an artwork that symbolised wellness and enhanced wellbeing in the viewing of it really was the underlying thought for its creation. I not only have the opportunity to help you feel a little better but I feel better myself too.

Lynda Howitt