HEDLAND LOCAL TAKES TOP PRIZE.
Hundreds gathered at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery last Thursday night to celebrate the winners of this year’s Hedland Art Awards.
Spinifex Hill Studio’s Nyapuru William Gardiner was the man of the night, winning the most outstanding work and also being the subject of the best work by a non-indigenous artist awardwinning painting.
Gardiner won $30,000 for his piece Disco Cowboy.
Judging the awards were Aboriginal art expert Tim Acker, academic Dr Thea Costantino and multimedia artist Pilar Mata Dupont, who said Gardiner’s winning work “demonstrates an original approach to subject matter, playful approach and formal and technical sophistication”.
“The artist’s work is a recontextualisation of themes and motifs explored by 20th century Australian artists such as Russell Drysdale and Sydney Nolan, drawing on histories of the region to offer an engaging and personable image of a figure in the landscape,” the judges said.
Other local winners included Doreen Chapman, of Spinifex Hill Studio, for the Kathy Donnelly judges’ award, Newman resident Ruth Leigh and Shennielle Sambo, of Warralong, while Michelle Siciliano, of South Hedland, tied with Ngarralja Tommy May for best work in a medium other than painting.
More than half of the 70 works on display at the exhibition are by Pilbara artists.
The Hedland Art Awards are run by FORM at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery and showcase the creative talents of emerging and established artists from all over the State.
The awards are one of WA’s most prestigious and have the largest cash prize pool at more than $100,000. This year, the application process allowed for only one work per artist, offering the opportunity for more artists to be represented.
FORM executive director Lynda Dorrington said the works exhibited at this year’s awards were worthy of national recognition.
“Over the last nine years, we have seen the quality and diversity of regional art grow significantly,” she said.
“The value of the prize pool has increased with the strength of art that our State’s regions are producing. The true value of this award lies in the opportunities that it offers to the exhibiting artists, with finalists and award winners often going on to gain national exposure and developing strong artistic careers.”
Judge Tim Acker was impressed by the standard of works.
The exhibition will be open to the public until late October when the winner of the people’s choice award will be announced.
For more information, visit form.net.au/projects/courthousegallery.
Nyapuru William Gardiner had the crowd laughing as he excitedly accepted his award for most outstanding work.