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


Monday, April 28, 2008

wendy teakel back paddock

Image: Back Paddock by Wendy Teakel

Judge: Deborah Hart

Dr Deborah Hart is the Senior Curator of Australian Paintings and Sculpture (after 1920) at the National Gallery of Australia. Over the past twenty-five years she worked for State and Regional Galleries and as a freelance curator prior to moving to Canberra. She is a widely published art historian and has written several monographs on Australian artists. Deborah has curated many exhibitions including the John Olsen Retrospective for the National Gallery of Victoria and Identities: Art from Australia for the University of Wollongong, a large exhibition of contemporary Australian art that travelled to the Taipei Fine Arts Museum in Taiwan. At the National Gallery she has curated: Joy Hester and friends; Tales of the unexpected; Home sweet home: works from the Peter Fay collection; Grace Cossington Smith: a retrospective; Imants Tillers: one world many visions; Colin McCahon: a focus exhibition (co-curated with Roger Butler) and Andy and Oz: parallel visions on show at the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, USA, until the end of 2007.

Judges comments
“The exhibition you see around you shows what a diverse range of art the Calleen Acquisition Award attracts. There are strong, expressive works, tightly controlled more representation works and a mix across abstraction and figuration in all media”

2008 Calleen Acquisition Award
Sponsored by The Calleen Trust

123. Wendy Teakel
Back paddock
acrylic and pokerwork on plywood
Murrumbateman NSW

“Wendy brings a highly distinctive response to the natural environment that is both subtle and powerful. She achieves this in part through the combination of techniques in her work. Her lively, layered, glowing painted surface evokes furrowed paddocks. It is can be seen as an abstracted space, a lived in space or a space seen from above. This is set against the boldness and incisive gestures of the pokerwork. Teakel captures a feeling of golden light on dry grasses, of barbed wire fences and burned charred surfaces. She has also brought considerable vitality to her interpretation of the landscape in the sweeping movement across the space.”

32. Lorna Crane
Full moon and still life
mixed media on board
South Pambula NSW

“As Lorna’s evocative title suggests this work is lyrical and poetic. It suggests interior and exterior spaces in the way that she incorporates domestic, still life elements and reflects the impact of nature in the circles that stand for the moon. Lorna’s work is also about the artist’s own inner and outer worlds and her sheer enjoyment of the physicality of creating the work. The artist’s technical application is highly inventive. On the one hand it is a very painterly surface. It also has a wide range of collaged elements including fabric, paper patterns, metal and paint. It is really worth spending time with the work discovering its richness of its conception and suggestive qualities.”

I commend both winners most warmly.

Local Artist Award
Sponsored by The Cowra Art Group

65 David Isbester
Watsim sunset – Dick Bibimauri
oil on canvas
Canowindra NSW

Merit Awards
Sponsored by Brisbane Street Medical Practice, Centre Point Pharmacy, Cowra Art Group, Cowra Musical and Dramatic Society, Rosslyn Finn, Friends of the Cowra Art Gallery, Ruth and David Fagan, David Henley, Kalari Wines, Diane and Kendall McMaster, Mulyan Wines ,River Park Wines, Webster Optometrists, Drs Jude and Andrew Watt and Harvey Wright

11 Yvonne Boag
Black house
acrylic on canvas
Erskineville NSW

“Yvonne has an amazing sense of colour and form and her confidence in her chosen medium stands out in this work in the exhibition.”

36 Greg Daly
Tripod vase with gold and silver leaf
Cowra NSW

“The strength of this work is immediately obviousness in the boldness of the form, the richness of the glazes – the depth of blue and the shimmer of gold.”

51 Gary Foye
Capertee Elegy#8 – I was witness to the end, as the
Adit was sealed and the enigmatic tears of the mountain
ceased to flow. All is quiet
ink, charcoal and conte
Denistone East NSW

“Gary’s title suggests a depth of feeling and experience. His diptych is quite extraordinary in its surface textures and the ways in which hovers between darkness and light.”