Radley wins Bluestone Magazine People’s Choice Award
Words and pictures: Louise NorthWarrnambool artist Andrea Radley has won the Bluestone Magazine People’s Choice Award in the 2016 South West International Women’s Day Art Prize.
When the 207 votes were counted by the organisers, Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West, today, Andrea, a South West TAFE art teacher who rarely exhibits her work was the clear winner of the $250 award.
The works of 48 local artists had been selected for the exhibition that concluded on Sunday at The Artery in Warrnambool where visitors to the gallery were asked to vote for their favourite artwork.
Andrea’s piece, “Not wrong…” (linocut on feathers) reflected the theme of this year’s prize, “Hope” and was inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’.
“It is not wrong to want to live, to be safe, to hope for a better life for your children. We must establish safer ways for people to escape conflict, persecution, poverty and as a world community, find a place for them outside the conflict areas,” Andrea wrote in her statement about the work.
“I liked the idea of using a white feather as it has had very different meanings over time. In past wars it meant cowardice, but can also mean purification, trust, faith, protection, peace, hope and a sign from an angel/spirit of someone who has passed on.”The Radley family also had success in last year’s inaugural IWD Art Prize with Andrea’s daughter Megan Radley the winner of the Youth Prize.
Andrea entered the award last year and this year to help showcase the array of female artistic talent in the south west.
“I wanted not only to be noted as an active part of the art community but also to be noted as a female artist. What I discovered is the local female art community is a lot larger than I realised,” she told Bluestone today (17/3).
Andrea said that a lot of women make art but often don’t feel confident enough to exhibit regularly and that the IWD Art Prize went some way towards changing that.
“Winning this award gives me a real confidence boost and shows that my art is connecting with the community,” she said.
Executive office of Women’s Health and Well being Barwon South West, Emily Lee Ack said she was delighted to welcome Bluestone Magazine as a partner to the South West International Women’s Day Art Prize, as sponsors of the People’s Choice Award.
“It is great to see local businesses making a contribution to the arts through their investment and enthusiasm for women’s participation in creative industries,” she said.This year’s judge, Warrnambool Art Gallery director, Vanessa Gerrans previously announced the $2000 first prize winner was Megan Cheyne for her wonderful mixed media work, In Bloom, of a “fabulous, non-conformist friend” doing a headstand.
The $1000 second prize was won by established Dunkeld artist Anne Fleming with a her stoneware clay piece, Hope. The work depicts a woman and a child in a boat, reflecting the refugee crisis and the hopes that all mothers have for their children for a peaceful, happy life.
Twenty-one-year-old Georgina Sambell won the Emerging Artist Award for her stunning oil on linen, We Cannot Rely On Nature Alone, which Gerrans described as “incredibly accomplished”.
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