Friday, May 6, 2016

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This year the Cowra Regional Art Gallery received 272 entries into the 2016 Calleen Art Award from across Australia and 47 works were selected by a panel of art professionals as finalists.

The official exhibition opening and announcement of the 2016 Calleen Art Award winner took place on Saturday 30 April 2016, attracting over 100 visitors, including many of the finalists. Cr Bill West, Mayor of Cowra Shire Council, welcomed guests and opened the exhibition and the announcement of the winner by the Award Judge John Cheeseman, Manager Cultural Services and Gallery Director, Mosman Art Gallery.

2016 Calleen Art Award Winner

Tania and

Tania Mason and her winning work Irregular Plasma

The winner of the 2016 acquisitive Calleen Art Award is Tania Mason from Sydney, for her work Irregular Plasma, 2016, gouache and acrylic on canvas, 102 x 84cm. Irregular Plasma explores concepts linked to the neurological patterns within the human brain and natures complex geometric shapes such as vines, plants, trees and leaves. Tania received $19,000 in prize money from the Calleen Trust and her winning painting joins the Calleen Art Collection at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.

Judge’s comments

Tania Mason Irregular Plasma: “In the first passing of works I did not think this was in the running. But then I looked at all works in detail and the more I looked the more I was drawn to this work. This is a painting exploring the mind and pioneering new ways of expressing neural connections – organic complex geometric shapes and connections, neurological patterns and pathway formations. What I especially admired was that this was a beautiful work and, on balance, a positive and optimistic painting with a sense of wonder. The artist herself was driven to explore the neural condition of her son who has faced behavioural challenges – a very personal work and a brave work to share.” – John Cheeseman

Highly Commended awards

The Awards Judge announced two Highly Commended awards to: Ivan Goodacre for The Dam, 2016, oil on canvas, 152 x 198cm and Hal Pratt, for Hidden Gorge NT, 2015, watercolour, 36 x 36cm.

Hal Pratt, for Hidden Gorge NT

Hal Pratt, Hidden Gorge NT.

Judge’s comments

Hal Pratt: Hidden Gorge NT. “This work of great beauty shines like a beacon within the gallery. It re-addresses our collective memory of Namatjira works and the images of places that have been embedded into our minds – this is a reimagining of this mythic Australian landscape. A striking work skilfully composed in watercolour”. – John Cheeseman

Ivan Goodacre: The Dam. “A very impressive work, almost abstract in form, with an upside-down perspective that disorients, challenges and excites the viewer. An evocation of the landscape and place, it is also an added bonus that the subject matter of the work, Wyangala Dam, is so relevant and connected to the Cowra district and community”. – John Cheeseman

Commended awards

The Awards Judge also announced two Commended awards to: Peter Lankas, for Helen Street, 2015, oil, pigment, calcium carbonate, eggwhite, oil emulsion on board, 30 x 40cm and Rachel Milne, for Potters Studio, 2015, oil on board, 81 x 122cm.

Judge’s comments

Peter Lankas: Helen Street. “This work was executed from memory and takes us on a contemporary odyssey through the suburbs. This is a painter with a strong love of the medium, to the point he makes his own paint, and I enjoyed the strong and direct application and brushstrokes. The work is a contemporary take on landscape, combining the darkness of Drysdale with a touch of Quilty, all done in miniature form”. – John Cheeseman.



2016 Calleen Art Award winner, Tania Mason receiving her prize money from Trustees Jeni and Peter Fagan. Awards judge John Cheeseman (far left) and the artists son Arthur bottom right.

2016 Calleen Art Award winner, Tania Mason receiving her prize money from Trustees Jeni and Peter Fagan. Awards judge John Cheeseman (far left) and the artists son Arthur bottom right.