The look of surprise on Debbie Bennett’s face said it all when the Elliott Heads artist was announced a section winner for the 2020 Bundaberg Art Prize, the first competition she had ever entered.
She said she was in a state of disbelief when her eco dying piece took out the easel section, which came with a $2000 prize.
“My husband actually had to push me out there,” she laughed.
Debbie had submitted three pieces to the competition, two 3D artworks which took a lot of time and the winning piece which she said “just came easily”.
“I just sort of put it together and it just worked.”
The prize means a lot to Debbie who has dabbled in art for many years in many different formats.
“[It is] confirmation that I am an artist and that I will endeavour to grow as an artist now.”
Bundaberg Arts Festival president Phil Oakley said the 2020 Bundaberg Art Prize had been a resounding success.
“It exceeds a lot of people’s expectations,” Phil said.
“Bundaberg has got this hidden talent.”
He said the reaction of local artists like Debbie from having their work recognised was so rewarding.
“It makes it all worthwhile, all the blood, sweat and tears.
“The really hard work … then you get those moments where people are just gobsmacked.
“It’s a big impact on their lives.”
The winner of the main prize was Gladstone based artist Ping Carlyon for her work titled “Be Positive”.
Depicting the inevitable recovery from the effects of bushfire and COVID, the piece took more than seven months and over 250 hours to complete.
2020 Bundaberg Art Prize winners
Overall winner – Ping Carlyon – Be Positive
Emerging Artist – Calum White – Burial of What Was
Works on paper – Bob Anderson – Just Me
Easel works – Debbie Bennett – Rust Defence Regrowth
3D works – Nicole Jakins – Towarsd the Light
Digital works – Michel Scutts – The Candle
For more photos from the awards night and more info from the 2020 Bundaberg Art Prize winners, head to the Facebook page.