Woodgate artist Julia Davis has been named the overall winner of the prestigious Bundaberg Art Prize 2021.
The winners were named from a high-quality field of entries on Friday 10 September with the opening night attended by 230 people.
Bundaberg Art Prize President Phil Oakley said Julia’s artwork – ‘Dressing Gown Circa 1954' – was praised by judge Professor Elisabeth Findlay, Director of the Queensland College of Art.
“The judge said that ‘photorealism' in painting often gets a bad rap in the artworld and judges tend to go for more ‘contemporary' works so it has to be really well executed, which this was,” Phil said.
“And by not showing the full scene as to why the pink dressing gown was lying on the bed leaves a bit of imagination for the viewer to fill in their own blanks and their own story.”
He said the opening night lived up to expectations, with the two exhibition spaces in the former car yard and workshop working well.
“The general feedback is that the quality of the work is higher than last year and back to where it was in 2019 and maybe even higher.
“Even the artworks by our amateur and hobby artists are of higher quality than we've previously seen which is great for the art world in Bundaberg.
“We've already sold 15 artworks in the first 24 hours.”
The Bundaberg Art Prize 2021 exhibition remains open to the public daily from 9 am to 5 pm until 1 pm on Sunday 26 September.
Phil would love to see every Bundaberg Region resident take the time to view the exhibition if only to gain an appreciation for the artistic talent of locals.
“An example is that I sat next to a first-time volunteer, who is not connected to the art scene in Bundaberg as we were taking in entries and she spent around two hours just saying ‘wow’ to every piece that was delivered as she had no idea what to expect,” he said.
“I think that's how most people felt about it, the sheer diversity and range.
“Even coming along to see how we've used the space at the old BMG service centre is fun in itself, which also means we're not in a pristine gallery space.
“We're totally approachable and happy to chat or you can browse at your leisure.
“Even if you don't buy, you can vote for your favourite artwork with our People's Choice
Bundaberg Art Prize 2021 winners
OVERALL WINNER: Julia Davis (Woodgate), ‘Dressing Gown Circa 1954'
Sponsored by a collective of Bundaberg’s vibrant business community.
EASEL WORKS: Tim Graham (Woodgate), ‘Brisbane Morning'.
Sponsored by Ergon Energy
WORKS ON PAPER: Sandra Ross (Gympie), ‘Prevail'
Sponsored by Alowishus Delicious
3D WORK: Mela Cooke (Brisbane), ’The Baby Butcher Bird and the Bad Hair Day'
Sponsored by Cr John Learmonth
Highly Commended Julie Appo and Anne Montegue (Bundaberg)
DIGITAL WORK: Len Hurley (NSW Central Coast), ‘360 COVID Mutating'
Sponsored by Heritage Bank
Highly Commended Anne Wharten (Hervey Bay and soon to be Bundaberg resident)
YOUNG EMERGING ARTIST: Jorja Lewis (Bundaberg), ’The Tapestry of the Land'
Sponsored by Greensill Farming
EASEL WORKS HIGHLY COMMENDED: John Anderson (Woodgate), ‘Big Dry'
Sponsored by Mark Haster Painting
WORKS ON PAPER HIGHLY COMMENDED: Adrienne Williams (Elliott Heads), ’Snow Gum Walking, Mt Field'
YOUNG EMERGING ARTIST HIGHLY COMMENDED: Lara Hensel (Bundaberg), ‘Mouthwatering'
Sponsored by Ingenium
YOUNG EMERGING ARTIST HIGHLY COMMENDED: Ivy Montague (Bundaberg), ‘Colours of Ivy'
Sponsored by Ingenium
The Bundaberg Art Prize 2021 is being exhibited in the former BMG building on the corner of Bourbong and Tantitha Streets.
For more information and photos, head to the Bundaberg Art Prize Facebook page.