HomeLifestyleKoi fish prove good fortune for People’s Choice winner

Koi fish prove good fortune for People’s Choice winner

John Leyland with his winning painting Koi Pond.

A mere five votes separated first and second position in this year’s People’s Choice Bundaberg Art Prize award, with Burnett Heads resident John Leyland claiming the win with his painting Koi Ponds.

A total of 440 pieces of art were entered into the annual Bundaberg Art Prize competition this year making the stakes even higher for the People’s Choice award.

Each visitor to the exhibition was given the chance to vote for their favourite three artworks, rather than just one.

John said he was pleased to have won the award as it provides him with reassurance that even after over forty years of painting, his work is still improving.

“I was so pleased to win the People’s Choice award, it feels like confirmation that I’m heading in the right direction with my art,” John said.

“I’ve been painting since my late teens, so more than forty years now, with several careers along the way, but I’ve always made time to paint.

“The Bundaberg Art Prize is a great event to showcase the variety of talent from here and the surrounding areas.”

Since moving to Burnett Heads eight years ago from the Gold Coast, John said he had always enjoyed portraying water.

“I love trying to capture the essence of water, it can be a real challenge and very rewarding when you get it right,” he said.

“My only plan for the future is to just keep improving and to keep learning new techniques, I love doing what I do.”

people's choice
Koi ponds by John Leyland

John’s work is currently displayed at the Windmill Café in Bargara, Baltimore’s Restaurant at the Port Marina and in Arts Plus in Bundaberg.

Second place in the People's Choice awards went to Marlies Oakley and her artwork “Thinking Inside the Box, Part III – 100 stories of 2021”.

Honorable mentions must also go to Tricia Taylor's Pastel “Ancient of Days” and Jake Thomson's 3D Work of a Koala made of screws “You Clipped Us” who came in a strong 3rd and 4th place

Bundaberg Art Prize president Phil Oakley congratulated John on his win, with this year’s event also exceeding expectations with many pieces being sold.

“John's People's Choice was well deserved and he was always ahead of the pack with votes,” Phil said.

“This year exceeded expectations; we were excited when we managed to sell 10 per cent of artworks previously, so were blown away when we sold 65 artworks which was one in seven, ranging from $25 to $3,500.

“We had an average sale price of $515, proving there was something for everyone in terms of budget and style.”

You can find out more about the annual Bundaberg Art Prize here.

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