Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Louise Alling­ham

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.

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Nya­puru Wil­liam Gar­diner had the crowd laugh­ing as he ex­cit­edly ac­cepted his award for most out­stand­ing work.

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