Yallingup artist Mary-Lynne Stratton took out the top gong at the prestigious Cossack Art Awards last Saturday night. City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long presented Stratton with Best Overall Artwork for her piece Radiant Mirage.
Cossack came alive last Saturday night when hundreds flocked to the historic town for the 2016 Cossack Art Awards.
More than $100,000 in prize money was awarded across 10 categories, with WA artist Mary-Lynne Stratton winning best overall artwork for her piece, Radiant Mirage.
Stratton said she was ecstatic and grateful to have taken out the top prize, which was presented to her by City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long.
“I’m absolutely over the moon,” she said.
“I ended the work thinking ‘I hope I sell it up there — I hope it doesn’t have to come home again’.”
Stratton, a Yallingup local and landscape artist, said completing the winning piece was a lengthy process.
“It’s in encaustic wax and oil paint and pigments, so I made an encaustic mix out of pure beeswax, gum turpentine and ... crystals, and that’s melted together to make a paste,” she said.
“I melt it all in a crockpot and paint it on, on a flat surface, and then I get the heat gun or the iron out and play with the surface.”
Channel 10 news anchor Narelda Jacobs was master of ceremonies and Pilbara MP Brendon Grylls welcomed locals and visitors to the awards, acknowledging the rich indigenous history of the region.
“And you all, I hope... find the time over the weekend not just to visit the spectacular art on display here but venture up into the Karratha hills, down into the Burrup, down to Deep Gorge and see some of that art that’s thousands and thousands of years old — the oldest known art form in the world right here in our backyard,” he said.
“You all tonight meet on Ngarluma land. .. to continue a tradition of thousands and thousands of years of looking, respecting, discussing art.”
Mr Long highlighted the importance of such a prestigious event for the Pilbara and thanked judges Jenny Watson, Laurie Nilson and Sasha Grishin who were given the “unenviable task” of deciding the winners. Many prominent figures were in the crowd, including the managing director of the event’s biggest sponsor, Rio Tinto, Clayton Walker, Durack MHR Melissa Price, Ngarluma elder Pansy Hicks and Member for Mining and Pastoral Mark Lewis on behalf of Premier Colin Barnett.
After the awards presentation, attendees enjoyed food and drink catered by Empire 6714 and live music from the Mad Hatters.
The exhibition will be open until August 14. For information about other Cossack Art Award events including workshops, showcases and discussions visit cossackartawards.com.au.
Judges Laurie Nilsen and Sasha Grishin with winner Mary-Lynne Stratton, and Peter Long.