Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Excellent Art Exhibition

Jumping Through Hoops by Cat Tink
Spotlight! by Mel Daw


The Ravensthorpe District Art Group’s 2012 exhibition opened with a well attended wine and cheese evening on Friday 7th September.  This year the “Year of the Farmer” theme was relatively low in entries but high in enthusiasm and quality.

The evening was opened by Art Group President Lynnell Belli who thanked the sponsors of this year’s show; Phillips River Grazing, Ravensthorpe Qualup Cafe, Ravensthorpe IGA- FE Daw and Sons, Ravensthorpe Mechanical Services, Ravensthorpe Building Supplies, Landmark, Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council, Shire of Ravensthorpe, Country Arts WA and the Department of Culture and the Arts. 

Lynnell then introduced guest judge Carolyn Gilles-Gray to present the awards.  Carolyn, an experienced artist and art educator with a passion for encouraging community participation in the arts, began by informing the crowd of her judging criteria.  This not only included skill in the chosen media, techniques and composition but also attention to the exhibition theme.   Carolyn was overall very impressed with the standard and variety of work on display.

The children’s awards were presented first, with prizes going to the youngest participant Isla Perryman for her painting Ribbon the Rabbit, Sethan Francis for his painting Yabbying at the Farm Dam, Samantha Francis for her painting Seeds Growing in the Mud and Jai Daw for his bright painting Farm Mow Mow.   Harmony Daw was awarded a prize for her delicate sculpture Farm Kangaroo, which Carolyn thought was a lovely use of mixed media.   The Year 2-4 Section was won overall by Amberley Daw with her work titled Rustic Farming.  Carolyn spoke most highly of Amberley’s innovative combination of metal and organic materials...a growing, changing piece.  Well done Amberley!  (I bet your Art teacher is super proud of you!)

Carolyn then moved on to the adult categories, beginning with the drawing.  Since there were only two works in this section it was decided to award a Highly Commended to Cat Tink for her superb pencil rendition of Tess-Kelpie Cross Pup.  In the painting category Carolyn was undecided between two entries and asked if she could split the prize, only to find out that her winning selections were painted by the same artist; so awards went to Mel Daw for Spotlight, for “use of colour, design and concept” and The Farmer Needs a Wife, “an emotive, powerful and truthful work”.  A Highly Commended went to Amber Perryman’s large painting, First Fruits for “skilful us of media, colour and scale”.

Cat Tink won the photography section with Lamps and Shears which, as Carolyn mentioned, summed up a farmer and his shed beautifully.  Cat was called upon once again to receive an award for her sculpture Jumping Through Hoops and a Highly Commended went to Shirl Sutherland for her “quirky” sculpture Snake Vine.  Amber Perry won the Other category with her printmaking piece titled One Horse Power and Robyn Brayshaw received a Highly Commended in this section for Fish Hanger.

The highlight of the evening was when a much surprised Bec Davies was announced as receiving a Highly Commended in the Shire Acquisition Prize for her painting First Farmer.  Carolyn commended Bec for her “statement, concept and originality”.  (Congratulations Bec; all those Friday Night Art Nights were well spent!)  The final award of the evening was to the winner of the Shire of Ravensthorpe Acquisition Prize, going to our own Lynnell Belli for her watercolour, Nutbush. 

Carolyn concluded the awards by congratulating all the winners and indeed all the contributing artists for having the courage and conviction to bring their ideas to fruition and help make the exhibition successful.  It was then Carolyn’s turn to be on the receiving end of a gift from the very appreciative Ravensthorpe District Art Group for lending her time and expertise to not only judge the show but also to attend the evening, give out awards and make herself available for those with any queries of her judging process.  We look forward to working with Carolyn in the future.

Once the formal part of the evening was over it was time to relax and mingle whilst partaking in a nice drop of red, (or white).  The Dunnart Gallery; what a wonderful place to mix with friends and ponder life, art and the wonders of the universe!  Apparently much pondering went on quite late that night!

Van Gogh scarecrow welcomes visitors in the front door
When the gallery opened the following morning, visitors were welcomed down the laneway with a colourful display of flags and some awesome scarecrows made by school children from Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun.  The intention was to have a winning scarecrow announced at the end of the exhibition...but unfortunately all of them were so fantastic that nobody was brave enough to choose a favourite!  The scarecrows were all well made (even surviving the 120knot winds we had in the last week) and very creative; based on modern artists and the local area.  Congratulations to all the students involved, your scarecrows transformed the gallery garden!

Picasso scarecrow waves guests into the rear entry
The exhibition closed on Sunday 23rd September with an official opening of the Farm Gate Art Trail launched by Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council President Jennifer Chambers.  Hairball once again graced us with their presence, providing some interesting insights into the future with their unique tea reading abilities.  We will look forward to “Shirtloads” of money for our future community arts projects!

The winner of our raffle, the gorgeous farm quilt donated by Mrs Judy Harp, was won by Susan Sensen from Tumbi Umbi , NSW.  We rang Ms Sensen who was ecstatic at the news, claiming it to be the first thing she had ever won.  We are pleased that Judy’s quilt will go to a loving home.

Finally, the winner of our Popular Vote competition was our very own Cathy Tink with her beautiful drawing of Tess- Kelpie Pup.  Congratulations Cathy, we know Jungle will be stoked!


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