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Local artist wins Town of Claremont Art Awards

  • Arts & Culture

A Claremont business owner was awarded first place in the Town of Claremont Art Awards, beating more than 80 shortlisted artists from across Western Australia to claim the $5000 prize.

17 Aug 2023
2 mins read

Artist Stef Rae won the competition with her colourful oil painting Continuum (pictured), which she says “aims to celebrate the essence and diversity of the Claremont community”.

Judges Louise Dickmann and Maggie Baxter, along with Claremont Councillors Jill Goetze, Kate Main and Peter Telford, were unanimous in their decision, describing the painting as “a skilfully executed work, showing a strong emotive composition.”

They marvelled at the talent required to feature different styles in a single piece of art, adding “the composition draws on a tradition of perspective but presents a contemporary interpretation.”

Second prize was awarded to Sarah Sinclair for her painting Old Shirt, a portrait inspired by her time spent in Southern Africa. Sarah committed to donating 100% of the profits from her piece to the Rea Thusana Foundation in South Africa, and it was one of several works that was sold on the exhibition’s opening night on Friday 11 August.

The judges praised her skill and simplicity, commenting that “the artist has captured a disquiet that should not be present in the eyes of a young boy”.

“Exquisitely rendered, and even though it is a small work and maybe because of it, the emotive power and intimacy of the portrait kept the judges coming back to it,” they added.

The inaugural Sculpture Prize was awarded to Felicity Bodycoat for her piece Ellipse Series 2, a clay work using layered slip cast porcelain with decal.

The judging team said, “the apparent simplicity of the form belies the complexity of the process and difficulty in achieving this level of perfection where the form, the internal and outer surface properties of the work are in perfect sync with each other.”

The Claremont Local Award went to Aaron More for his oil on plexiglass piece Kut-a-wei-rah (King Billy), a portrait of an Aboriginal elder who frequented the Lake Claremont area and whose clay model depiction sits in the Claremont Museum.

“The work is skilfully and imaginatively executed, an original approach which shows vibrancy and assuredness in the artist’s mark making technique,” the judges remarked.

“The subject engages with local history, the Claremont Museum collection and its scale demands attention to a potentially overlooked local narrative.”

Mayor Jock Barker said that first prize going to a Claremont resident was serendipitous but not a total shock.

“Our Town is filled with talented people in all walks of life and the Town of Claremont Art Awards is just one way in which we can celebrate our local creatives,” he said.

“I always admire the quality of work displayed in these exhibitions. The winning pieces are phenomenal works of art from notable WA artists.”

The exhibition artwork will be available for viewing from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday and 11am-3pm Saturdays and Sundays between 12 - 27 August.

All exhibited artwork is available for sale unless already sold. No entry fees are charged to view the exhibition.

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