Today I received shortlist notification for the Town of Claremont Art Awards. Thank goodness for that, I can breathe again. Waiting for finalist notifications is a tedious business; its a whole year in-between shows and there’s never a guarantee of making the cut with the amount of incredible talent In Perth.
In its third year as an annual show and with Claremont being my home town, I get super excited to enter this award!
Last year I was also a finalist and narrowly missed out on the People’s Choice Award (so I was told) with this painting…
The previous year, 2014, with the inaugural art award… I didn’t even get selected! Ah, the downside of figurative realism painting, it doesn’t always make the finalist list. I was totally gutted. My home town and its first ever show and I missed out. Especially sad, seeing I painted Lake Claremont as the background to my painting. That disappointment sure did give me a huge dose of ‘toughen up’.
Lucky for me though, I have since sold this painting and it is now gracing the walls of a cancer rehab centre in Busselton, ‘Dot’s House’ and hopefully giving some joy at a hard time.
So anyway, this year, for the first time they had a selection criteria…
- Reflective of Claremont, a conservative, well established, well educated community
Demonstrating a high level of technical skill, composition and quality
Responsive to or inspired by the cultural identity, character and community of the Town Diverse in art forms and approach.
I took this criteria quite literally and approached it in my usual realism style, using a reference photo of my daughter, Bel, set against the backdrop of a billboard in Claremont.
I started with the idea to somehow incorporate the rich history of Claremont into a figurative painting…armed with this spark of a thought, my trusty camera and with the promise of a coffee for my girl, we went in search of an image. Half an hour was all it took to take the right photo.
The splash of red against the black and white was too good to walk past…the old and the new. Perfect.
My artist statement was –
The exhibition opens on the 19th of August, upstairs in the Claremont Quarter, and runs through until the 27th August.
Perth peeps…and for my many friends in the area, please pop in when you are next in Claremont, cause I KNOW you will be in Claremont…at Coles, doing that mind numbing food shop for the 56 millionth time (why do teenagers eat so darn much?) and don’t forget to make a People’s Choice vote for your favourite art piece. Wink, wink…
Paintbrushes crossed for judging.