REEF GRIEF BLUES A SEASCAPE WINNER
A TOWNSVILLE artist’s painting designed to get people talking about the health of the Great Barrier Reef has struck a chord with art critics, securing the top prize at the recent Whitsundays Arts Festival.
Founded in 2019 to celebrate the region’s cultural richness, the 2021 Whitsundays Arts Festival was a three-day celebration of arts which explored the idea of place in our diverse landscape.
The September festival culminated with the awarding of a $5000 Whitsundays Regional Arts Prize (Acquisitive) to Annandale artist Lisa Ashcroft for her painting called Bleached Blue Coral Reef, which finished ahead of 55 finalists and hundreds of entries.
Ms Ashcroft has been a professional artist for the past 25 years and emigrated from the United Kingdom in 2011.
“(Winning) was absolutely amazing. It’s just nice to know that what I’m doing is worthwhile, because as an artist you are very isolated and you work on your own a lot,” Ms Ashcroft said.
The painting was a year in the making.
She described Bleached Blue Coral Reef as being “bitter sweet”, juxtaposing the reef’s beauty and international renown against its deterioration through global warming and plastic pollution.
“I use tools such as underwater camera footage, snorkelling, sketchbook work to record findings and use etching, impasto, mark making with fingers and willow sticks to leave my human mark to represent this challenging topic of deterioration and concern,” she said.
“The purpose of the work was to drive conversation about the bleaching, and about it in a political format, out of the art gallery and into the public domain.”
“If I can start a discussion … with my artwork, then it’s done its job.”
Whitsundays Regional Council has the painting on permanent display in their council offices as an acquisition.
Townsville art fans will be able to see Ms Ashcroft’s art in exhibitions at Perc Tucker Art Gallery and Mackay Artspace in 2023.
To see more of her art or attend future workshops, visit lisaashcroft.com