Thursday, November 11, 2021

Claret Ash, Bathurst, 2021, oil on linen on plywood, 139 x 122cm

The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is pleased to announce the winner of the Calleen Art Award 2021 is Bathurst based artist Rachel Ellis with her painting Claret Ash, Bathurst. Through the support of The Calleen Trust the Calleen Art Award has increased in value and is now worth $25,000 in prize money.  The winning work will now become part of the Calleen Collection at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery.   

The announcement of the winner took place on Saturday 30 October with several of the finalists and their guests present.  A recording of the opening and announcement of the winner by the Award Judge, Mr Wayne Tunnicliffe, Head Curator, Australian Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as images of the 46 finalists works (selected from over 400 entries) is now available on the Gallery website.

The Calleen Art Award was established in 1977 by art patron Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM to encourage originality, creativity and excellence in the visual arts and is now considered a signature art event in the central west region of NSW. The 46 artworks in the exhibition, selected from over 400 entries from around Australia, are visually compelling, thoughtful and challenging covering a diverse range of subjects and painting styles.

Judge’s comments

“What I found extraordinary about this (painting) is the sense of light and the sense of how light has imbued colour to create form within the work. The more you look into it, the more you realise how the artist has really worked up the surface, has painted up, has scraped back, has thought through the exact placement of all the components. It has this strong sense of place, a really strong sense of a lived experience. As you suspect from the way I’ve spoken about this painting and how strongly I responded to it, this is the winner of the Calleen Art Award 2021”….. Wayne Tunicliffe (excerpt from the judge’s walk-through description of the winning work Claret Ash, Bathurst by Rachel Ellis)

Artist’s Statement

The shape of this Claret Ash, in Bathurst where I live, caught my eye. This tree, cut (hacked), to make way for powerlines, standing in balanced submission to the light which sustains it.  Rachel Ellis (catalogue statement)

When visiting the exhibition gallery visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite painting in the Calleen People’s Choice Award 2021 (non-acquisitive). The winning artist will be announced at the close of the exhibition and will be awarded $1,000, courtesy of the Friends of the Gallery trust fund.

The exhibition continues to 5 December 2021 at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery, 77 Darling Street, Cowra. Open: Tues – Sat, 10am – 4pm and Sun 2pm – 4pm. Admission free.   Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a cultural facility of the Cowra Shire Council.      

 …..Ends

For more information contact Brian Langer, Gallery Director, Cowra Regional Art Gallery on 0429072282 or email blanger@cowra.nsw.gov.au