Shoalhaven art prize - Jervis Bay & Basin Arts
The second showing of the only contemporary art prize in the Shoalhaven looked really special; the overall quality of the 2015 entries was vastly superior to the first iteration held in 2013. Admittedly there was a lack of video, photography or other new media but I should think that will sort its self out as the prize grows in reputation.
There were nearly twenty seven finalists out of nearly seventy entries, as noted all of quite high artistic merit. I thought that the judges’ decisions were exactly right and only the Jervis Bay & Basin Member prize winner would have had some competition to take the winning spot.
The winner of the main prize was Ulan Murray for his copper and steel sculpture, Equilibrium, a beautifully realized work that has immediate eye appeal and seems to be a popular choice, My only reservation was that I do not think that the work would stand frequent exposure, it has visual qualities that charm and delight when first encountered but suspect that this would diminish somewhat if you lived with it day to day. Fiona Ryan received a well deserved Highly Commended award for her abstract painting Flare.
The Emerging Artist Prize went to Judy Panucci for her drawing / painting Nature of Memory, a great rendering of what could be a ‘working’ drawing of a found stone, including completed drawings, uncompleted sketches, smudges, splashes and drips of ink; a work full of interest that sets the mind speculating.
Jervis Bay and Basin Arts set up and manage NOW Contemporary and have a member prize which went to Fran Clifton for Mangrove Reverie, a complex work of etching over gouache and further work with charcoal and other media.
The sponsors of this prize are Edminston Jones, architects in Nowra, Wray Owen Funeral Director, PepperPot marketing, Worrowing retreat, webics, holly hill graphics and Shoalhaven Arts Centre.