2018 Calleen Art Award winner announced

Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Brian Robinson, Sowing the Crops and Reading the Stars, 2018, enamel spray paint, liquitex paint marker. 152 x 122 cm

The exhibition opening and announcement of the 2018 Calleen Art Award winner took place at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday night 5 May 2018, with over 110 visitors including many of the finalists in attendance. Guest speakers were Cr Ray Walsh, representing Cr Bill West, Mayor, Cowra Shire Council and the Award Judge Dr. Michael Hedger, Director, Manly Regional Art Gallery and Museum.

This year the Gallery received over 200 entries from around Australia and 46 works were selected as finalists including many mid career artists and exciting young emerging artistic talent.

Cairns-based artist Brian Robinson has taken out this year’s $20,000 Calleen Art Award for his work Sowing The Crops and Reading the Stars. The work is characteristic of Robinson’s graphic style and strongly informed by his background growing up on the Torres Strait Islands located between New Guinea and the tip of Cape York Peninsula.

In a statement accompanying the work, Robinson states that the painting references the traditional gardening practices that occurred throughout the Torres Strait as well as the abundant plant life and blooms that are found growing everywhere in profusion. Skill in gardening was and still is dependent on understanding the four seasons including knowledge of the movement of stars and constellations, tidal patterns, and the migration of birds and certain sea creatures.

Agricultural fertility also entails a respect for inherited ancestral land and knowledge of how to influence rainfall and the growth of plants through actions, words, songs and the use of figures and stones.

Cosmology, particularly star constellations were of significant importance to the people who used them to encode nature’s relative predictability into mythological narratives like Usiam, a cluster of seven stars that are more commonly known as Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. These narratives epitomise the cosmology or sense of understanding of one’s place in the universe.

Judges Comments

Winner: Calleen Art Award
Brian Robinson Sowing the Crops and Reading the Stars, 2018, enamel spray paint, liquitex paint marker. 152 x 122 cm

The Award Judge, Michael Hedger, Director Manly Art Gallery and Museum, said “the winner is an interesting picture with a wonderful patterning background and figure over the top as well as a blend of various Asian styles, showing the rendition of ancient crafts”.

Highly Commended Awards

Shannon Doyle, Power Struggle, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 120 cm

Judges comments: “The figure study I think is the best figure study in the exhibition even more so because you don’t even see the figure it’s all heavily clothed and an extraordinary painting is made out of using just tones, just grey”.

Geoff Harvey, Ash Landscape, 2017, acrylic and charcoal on board 123 x 153 cm. Judges comments: “Ash Landscape, is absolutely astonishing it has the whole tragedy of the landscape after a bushfire something which unfortunately never goes out of the news in Australia, he’s encapsulated that perfectly.”

During the evening guests were treated to the presentation of delightful music by an ensemble of young musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

The exhibition continues to 17 June 2018.

For more information Tel: 6340 2190. The Gallery is located at 77 Darling Street, Cowra and open from Tues–Sat, 10am–4pm and Sun 2pm–4pm. Admission is free.

Artist Talk – Robert Clinch and the D’ART Project

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Saturday 28 April 2018 at 2pm

Renowned Australian realist painter, Robert Clinch, has collaborated with classic car collector, Jeff Brown, and is speaking at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on Saturday 28 April at 2pm about the Goggomobil Objet D’Art project which is currently on display at the Gallery.

Image: Robert Clinch “Pot Pourri.” 2007 Lithograph on 100% cotton paper 43cm x 42cm

Robert has transformed an iconic 1960’s Australian sports car the Goggomobil Dart, into an Objet D’art by painstakingly hand painting onto the Goggomobil a delightful cascade of 62 paper-darts; finished to show-car perfection. The dart motif has persisted in Clinch’s paintings since 1985 and signifies imagination, transience, purity and fragility.

Accompanying the car, this exhibition also includes detailed  sketches, a test panel and a documentary video about the project.

Admission is free and includes afternoon tea.

Image:Robert Clinch with the Goggomobil D’ART

For more information, contact the Cowra Regional Art Gallery on tel 63402190.

2018 Calleen Art Award finalists announced

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The finalists for the 2018 Calleen Art Award have been announced. The Award is an acquisitive painting prize established in 1977 by Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM. Always popular with the local community and visitors to Cowra the Calleen Art Award has advanced significantly and through the generosity of the Calleen Trust is now worth $20,000. There is also a People’s Choice Award which is non-acquisitive and worth $500 in prize money.

This year 205 entries were received by the Gallery from across Australia and 46 works consisting of an engaging range of styles as well as themes and subjects have been selected as finalists by a panel of art professionals.

Previous winners include Zai Kuang (2017), Tania Mason (2016), Yvonne Boag (2015), Naomi White (2014), Gladdy Kemarre (2013), G.W.Bot (2012), Peter Gardiner (2011), Claire Martin (2010) and Rowan Mathews (2009).

The 2018 Calleen Art Award opening night on Saturday 5 May promises to be a memorable and enjoyable Gallery event. For more information about the Calleen Art Award opening and announcement of the Calleen Art Award winner for 2018, stay in touch through the Gallery Facebook page.

The list of 2018 finalists are:

  • Xiao Bai
  • Susan Baird
  • Michael Bell
  • Kate Briscoe
  • Annabel Butler
  • Daniel Butterworth
  • Jemma Calavassy
  • Jane Canfield
  • David Collins
  • Peter Cook
  • Kathryn Cowen
  • Dagmar Cyrulla
  • Tracy Dods
  • Bridget Dolan
  • Kate Dorrough
  • John Downton
  • Shannon Doyle
  • Graeme Drendel
  • Ashley Frost
  • Keith Fyfe
  • Craig Handley
  • Rachel Hannan
  • Samir Hamaiel
  • Hope Hardy
  • Geoff Harvey
  • Vicki Hersey
  • Kerry Johns
  • Val Johnson
  • Col Jordan
  • Hui (Kathy) Liu
  • Steve Lopes
  • Robert Malherbe
  • Nic Mason
  • Rowen Matthews
  • Kerry McInnis
  • Paul McKnight
  • Wayne Miles
  • Annabel Nowlan
  • Hal Pratt
  • Claire Primrose
  • Petra Reece
  • Brian Robinson
  • Brenda Runnegar
  • Stuart Smith
  • Sally Stokes
  • Zoe Young

The announcement of the 2018 Calleen Art Award winner will be made at the Official Opening of the finalist’s exhibition on Saturday 5 May 2018. The exhibition will continue to 17 June 2018.

Key dates

  • Entries closed Friday 2 March 2018
  • Opening and Awards Presentation Saturday 5 May 2018
  • Exhibition dates Sunday 6 May–Sunday 10 June 2018

Exhibitions of excellence and diversity during Autumn 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

During autumn the COWRA REGIONAL ART GALLERY, a cultural facility of the Cowra Shire Council, is offering a unique program of vibrant and diverse exhibitions for the enjoyment of the local community and visitors to Cowra.

Opening Saturday March 24 from 1.30pm the Gallery is presenting two exhibitions that highlight artist collaborations. The first exhibition is THE LADY & THE UNICORN – A collaboration between Arthur Boyd & Peter Porter consisting of an astonishing series of images by Arthur Boyd one of Australia’s most significant artists who worked across numerous mediums throughout his career. Boyd’s success in London in the early 1960s and throughout the 1970s introduced the opportunity for numerous high profile commissions and for him to undertake collaborations with fellow artists. London based, Australian-born, poet Peter Porter collaborated with Boyd over fifteen years and they produced between them four significant limited edition books of prints and poems.

For THE LADY AND THE UNICORN, the second project with Peter Porter, and possibly their greatest, Boyd produced a series of 24 bold and evocative etchings in response to Porter’s reinterpretation of the 16th century tale that has inspired musicians, poets, novelists and artists since it’s rediscovery in the 1840s.
“This exhibition encapsulates the story of Arthur and Peter’s collaboration, a unique and generative relationship,” says Deborah Ely, Bundanon Trust CEO”. The etchings and painting in the exhibition are all from the Bundanon Trust collection.

The second exhibition opening at the Gallery on Saturday March 24 from 1.30pm is OBJET D’ART an astonishing art project and collaboration between classic car collector Jeff Brown and artist Robert Clinch. It showcases an iconic 1960s Australian Sports car, the Goggomobil Dart, transformed into an art object by contemporary realist painter Robert Clinch who painstaking hand painted the car over a period of five months with his signature paper darts. The dart motif has persisted in Clinch’s paintings since 1985 and signifies imagination, transience, purity and fragility.

Both exhibitions continue to Sunday April 29.

Opening Saturday May 5 from 6.30pm is the always popular CALLEEN ART AWARD an acquisitive art prize for painting in any style or subject. The CALLEEN ART AWARD was established in 1977 by art patron Mrs Patricia Fagan OAM with the aim of forming the CALLEEN COLLECTION for the people of Cowra to enjoy. The award has advanced significantly through the generosity of the CALLEEN TRUST. This year over 200 entries were received from across Australia and 46 finalists have been selected by a panel of art professionals. The winner will receive a prize of $20,000 and the winning work will join the CALLEEN COLLECTION housed at the COWRA REGIONAL ART GALLERY. There is also a People’s Choice Award which is non-acquisitive and worth $500 in prize money.

The Calleen Art Award exhibition continues to June 10, 2018.

Stay up-to-date with Gallery events, workshops and special activities on Facebook and Twitter or telephone the Gallery on 6340 2190.

The COWRA REGIONAL ART GALLERY is located at 77 Darling Street COWRA NSW 2794. Open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am–4pm, Sunday 2pm–4pm. Admission Free

Mandy Martin: Homeground

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Mandy Martin, Four Riders, 2016, pigment and ochre on linen, 300 x 300 cms (6 panels 150 x 100 cms each). Courtesy the artist and Australian Galleries. Photo: Clare Lewis

Cowra Regional Art Gallery is proud to present Mandy Martin: Homeground.

This twenty year survey exhibition concentrates on Mandy Martin’s deep unease about the landscape in which we live. Environmental issues relating to water security, the impact of the region’s coal-fired power stations and open cut mines are central concerns.

Each of the twenty works in the exhibition have been carefully selected, creating a suite of works that distil the essence of Martin’s practice since she moved to Mandurama in the Central West in 1995.

The survey includes examples of Martin’s collaborative practice including paintings with the indigenous artist Trisha Carroll and digital projections with the Canberra based artist and curator, Alexander Boynes.

Martin is one of Australia’s most important artists whose career spans over 40 years. She has had numerous exhibitions in Australia, Mexico and the USA and has exhibited in France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan and Italy. Her works are in many public and private collections in Australia including the National Gallery of Australia. In the USA she is represented in the Guggenheim Museum New York; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno and many private collections.

The exibition runs from 10 February to 18 March 2018.

A Bathurst Regional Art Gallery Touring exhibition.