Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The winner of the 2009 Calleen Art Award worth $10,000 went to Rowen Matthews from Blackheath for his work Rain Break (2009) oil on canvas.

The winner of the 2009 Calleen Art Award worth $10,000 went to Rowen Matthews from Blackheath for his work Rain Break (2009) oil on canvas.

The winners of the 2009 Calleen Art Award and inaugural Central West Regional Artists Award where announced at the awards exhibition opening on Friday 20 March at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.

The exhibition was opened by Cr Bill West Mayor of Cowra Shire Council and the announcement of the awards was made by the Awards Judge Peter Haynes Director, ACT Museums and Galleries to a packed Gallery of visitors and finalists.

The winner of the 2009 Calleen Art Award worth $10,000 went to Rowen Matthews from Blackheath for his work Rain Break (2009) oil on canvas. This is an acquisitive award and the work will join the Calleen Collection which is housed at the Gallery. The judge also gave a Commended award to Canberra based artist Stephanie Haygarth for her work Too late in the day (2009), acrylic on watercolour paper, and a Commended award to Illawarra based artist Greer Taylor for her work Echo (2009), acrylic and oxides on board.

The Central West Regional Artists Award (non acquisitive) worth $2,000 went to Oberon based artist Joanna Logue for her work Conifers – Essington (2009) oil on canvas. The Judge also gave Highly Commended awards to Cowra based artist Greg Daly for his work Glaze-on-glaze platter with gold and silver (2008) thrown stoneware; Woodstock based artist Peter Larsen for his work The Junction – where the Belubula River joins the Lachlan on its way westwards (2009) watercolour; and Morpeth based artist Aida Pottinger for her work Leaving Lancashire (2009) oil on canvas.

As winner of the Central West Regional Artists Award Joanna Logue will also have an exhibition at the Gallery in 2010.

The winner of the Peoples Choice Award will be decided at the end of the exhibition.

Artist catalogue statement: In December 2008 I was fortunate to have a residency at the Kings Bridge Cottage on the Cataract River, just outside Launceston, Tasmania. I enjoyed the dramatic weather and dark drama of the place, painting the strong deep V shapes of the rocky gorge and the rough upright cliffs that seem to squeeze a triangular piece of sky. In the evening, the strong shadows in the gorge allowed me to make the hard tonal work in this painting, Rain Break.

Judges Comments

  • This work has immediate impact
  • Powerful use of paint to create textures of wild nature/nature untamed
  • Bold, gestural brushstrokes capture energy & vitality of scene depicted
  • Excellent use of impasto
  • Simple yet striking contrasts (e.g. central band of the waterfall and the “triangular” masses of the rock formations to either side)
  • Tightly structured composition
  • Astute use of spatial planes and interactions to underscore the resolution of the pictorial structure

Winner – 2009 Central West Regional Artists Award: Joanna Logue – Conifers – Essington (2009) Oil on canvas

Artist catalogue statement: ‘Conifers – Essington’ was inspired by the landscape surrounding my studio in Oberon. Whilst making the work I was interested in the tension created by the juxtaposition of shapes against the wider field and the placement of these forms within the picture plain. By doing away with extraneous detail my hope is that a kind of distillation might take place where the essence of this landscape hums softly through.’

Judges Comments

  • Mysterious, enigmatic picture
  • Traces of memories
  • Beautifully nuanced combinations of colours, shapes and lines
  • Clever contrasts and simultaneous elisions of the organic and the abstract (puffs of white, swathes of green)
  • Layered forms and brushstrokes highly evocative of the movement of light through trees
  • Quiet and dignified structural rhythms give lyrical almost musical quality

“The awards not only add to the accomplishments of the Gallery but also aim to support contemporary art practices and encourage originality, creativity and excellence in the different spheres of the awards categories. Also, through the Calleen Art Award the Cowra Regional Art Gallery continues to build a collection of enduring significance and regional achievement.” Gallery Director – Brian Langer

Exhibition Dates: 21 March to 19 April 2009