Group of Artists from Casterton, country Victoria, and further afield in Australia
This year’s John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize was won by our own Patricia O’Connell. Her painting (seen above) entitled The New Year came with heat and thirst and the little lakes were low, was inspired not only by Neilson’s poem The Poor Poor Country, but also by her own section of the Aussie landscape that is her family property in Bahgallah. It’s been a dry season on the farm, the land suffering from the whims of nature, which she aptly captured as if from an aerial view.
The John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize is run annually during the Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival and draws entries from around the country. The challenge for artists is to interpret the words of the Penola-born poet and transform their impressions and mind-images into a visual representation. Patricia met the challenge to interpret and depict Neilson’s poem in her own ‘voice’, with her work chosen as the best of the forty-five artworks entered this year.
In attendance at the opening ceremony and award presentation, fellow members of the Artists of the Valley were thrilled to support Patricia, and applaud her well-deserved win of the prestigious award, and acceptance of the $5000 prize money.
Other members of our small band of artists achieved recognition. Jenn White was awarded a Highly Commended for her lino cut Spring’s Invocation (you can see her entry and learn about its development here). Other members who entered works into the prize were Beth Dwyer, Chris Brown, Julie Kent and Collin Tenney. Two of our artists were rewarded with the sale of their entries during the week-long exhibition during the festival.
For a small group, Artists of the Valley did exceptionally well at this year’s event. Already, several members are thinking about entries for next year.
Anyone wanting more information on the group or individual artists or their work are welcome to make contact.