By Chris Lewis | April 15, 2021
Anyone who has ever been singled out for an award in the annual provincial Arts & Letters competition will tell you winning is a high honour. For Holy Spirit High student Sera Tulk, it’s a double honour as she took home two awards this year, and in completely different genres.
The Grade 10 student was among some 50 award recipients in this year’s long running, prestigious competition.
This year’s awards mark the 69th incarnation of the program, which salutes some of the best writers and artists in Newfoundland and Labrador, of all ages, in a bevy of categories.
The total prize money distributed between the winners this year came to $44,000.
Tulk was recognized in the Junior French Literary category and in the Junior Visual Art category for her pieces “Ciel” and “Memento Mori” respectively.
Tulk said she has been creating art for as long as she can remember; she began taking it seriously once she hit seventh grade and got into watercolour painting. More recently, Tulk has branched out into other forms of art including acrylic painting.
“They work very differently from one another, and I wanted to be able to do both,” Tulk said. “I found that, when I work in watercolour I like to work toward realism. But, in acrylic, I’ve been branching out into more abstract work. It was really fun.”
The piece for which Tulk was awarded in the Junior Visual Art category is “a bit out there,” she admitted.
It features only a few colours coming together to form a spiral, with a hand in the center, and an eye in the palm of the hand.
“It’s almost hard to look at in a way, but that’s the way I wanted it to be,” she explained. “I want people to look at it and be drawn in by the spiral and stopped by the hand. It’s supposed to be something you interpret for yourself, but for me it represents a journey where you’re being pulled forward, but at the same time being stopped.”
Tulk said she still enjoys watercolour painting, but is happy to be experimenting in other mediums.
Tulk has won other awards in the past. This particular award however is the first time she has been recognized for anything outside of a school environment. That is a feeling she said was exactly the kind of boost she needed lately in the face of repeated COVID-19 lockdowns in the province.
“(Art) is an amazing way to relax and get your mind off of everything going on around you,” Tulk said. “I can turn on a podcast and just sit down and paint for hours. It helps you not get too caught up in your own head, and I think that’s something everyone can benefit from.”
Tulk’s painting award came in the amount of $350.