Town of Claremont Art Award

21 Aug 2021

Koi Kyeunu-ruff (Stirling Range), 2021, oil and beeswax on canvas, 130 x 125cm

Left: detail | Right: studio - work in progress

Honoured to be selected for the Town of Claremont Art Prize 2021 and thrilled to receive First Prize. Thank you to the Town of Claremont for their ongoing contribution to the visual arts in Western Australia - a biennial prize now in its seventh year. 

Thank you:
Paola Anselmi
Judging Panel
Paola Anselmi - Art Curator
Dunja Rmandic - Acting Curator of International Art - Art Gallery of WA
Ron Nyisztor - Artist and Director of Nyisztor Studios
Cr Jill Goetze
Cr Kate Main

Artist Statement
This prominent range located in the Great Southern region of Western Australia was recorded in 1831 by Alexander Collie as Koi Kyeunu-ruff, a name provided to him by his Indigenous guide Mokare. By 1835 it was officially named the Stirling Range (honouring the Colony's first Governor, Captain James Stirling). With the current pandemic, many people are exploring our vast state with renewed historical inquiry. Encouragingly, Indigenous names and interpretive signage exists at many locations - an indication that we are slowly maturing as a nation and acknowledging our past.

Extra Thoughts
My paintings often present a facade of serenity. Slowly, underlying tensions surface - I see these tensions as vital conceptual elements. They can be experienced as dichotomies or opposites such as wild/tamed, dark/light, scorched earth/new growth, naivety/awareness, presence and absence. Always, they seek contemplation with a sprinkling of melancholy. This work edges a little close to realism for my liking - some paintings just want to be made. As artists, we sometimes just have to get out of the way.