People's choice goes to Blackheath artist

Kitsunebi: Kayo Yokoyama's people's choice winner in Sculpture at Scenic World.
Kitsunebi: Kayo Yokoyama's people's choice winner in Sculpture at Scenic World.
Kayo Yokoyama: With two of the glass creations she used in her people's choice sculpture at Scenic World.

Kayo Yokoyama: With two of the glass creations she used in her people's choice sculpture at Scenic World.

Blackheath artist Kayo Yokoyama is people's choice winner in this year's Sculpture at Scenic World, with Kitsunebi, a work based on a Japanese folk tale.

2017 people's choice winner, Illusion, by Kayo Yokoyama.

2017 people's choice winner, Illusion, by Kayo Yokoyama.

Kitsunebi are so-called ghost lights or mysterious flames that suddenly appear and flicker in and out.

"The Japanese folktale of the kitsunebi (fox fire) is in places where there would be no presence of fire," Ms Yokoyama said. "Mysterious flames would appear in a line that have gone out sometimes, even appearing in yet another place."

In one 15th century tale, relating how foxes trick humans, the kitsunebi would light up places where there were no roads, making humans lose their way.

Ms Yokoyama said she used dozens of glass frames with LED lights lit up from inside to make a trail of fires. The work was programmed with a computer to make the lights flicker.

It is the second time in three years that Ms Yokoyama has won the people's choice award. The artist recently also received the Excellence Medal at the Royal Easter Show, as well as a first place in engraving and a second in blown glass.

She is currently preparing for a show at the Casula Powerhouse Museum as well as a solo exhibition at the Cultural Centre next year.

Sculpture at Scenic World attracted record visitor numbers this year.

Domestic visitation was the stand out performer, with impressive gains from Victoria and Queensland, which increased by 133 per cent and 83 per cent respectively. Visitor numbers from the ACT also jumped 24 per cent during the exhibition.

There were also more international visitors, with significant jumps in numbers form Eastern Europe, France, Canada, Hong Kong, China, the UK and the US.

Scenic World's Chief Experience Officer, Amanda Byrne, said the results highlighted the exhibition's proven success in attracting visitors to the Mountains for day trips and overnight stays.

"Sculpture at Scenic World provides a compelling reason to visit the Blue Mountains, but the benefits extend far and wide, delivering significant economic benefits for our region while increasing destination awareness and visitors' intention to travel," she said.

Exhibition curator, Justin Morrissey, said: "It's a privilege to contribute to our thriving creatives industries sector by employing local artists and arborists, and partnering with local community groups who contribute so much to our vibrant community."

Finnish duo, Elin & Keino, received the Artist Peer Award for their work, Blue blue Mountains, which invited viewers to experience nature through a different lens.