Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, managed by FORM, is proud to host the 2016 Hedland Art Awards that showcase the creative talents of artists based in the Pilbara, Kimberley, Gascoyne, Mid West, and as of 2015, Goldfields regions of Western Australia. Nine prestigious awards offer a prize pool of over $100,000. Prize winners were announced on Thursday, 18 August. The final prize, the People’s Choice Award, is open until the close of the exhibition mid-October.
Michael Bailey, General Manager of Rail, BHP Billiton Iron Ore
Exhibition catalogue can be viewed here.
In a delightful turn of events, the winner of the Most Outstanding Work in the 2016 Hedland Art awards is also the subject of the winning piece in the category of Best Work by a non-Indigenous Artist. Port Hedland based artist, Nyapuru William Gardiner has taken out the top prize, a public endorsement for the Spinifex Hill Artist, whose work was also recognised at last year’s Hedland Art Awards and has since featured nationally as a finalist in the recent Telstra NATSIIA awards in Darwin.
The judges for the prestigious prize, three highly respected members of the creative community: Aboriginal art expert Tim Acker, artist and academic Dr Thea Costantino and Netherlands-based multi-media artist Pilar Mata Dupont, remarked on Mr Gardiner’s ability to tell a story through his work, Disco Cowboy.
“We were impressed with the standard of works in the exhibition. It is great to see a major art exhibition in a regional centre like Port Hedland. The exhibition and pieces included would be at home in any Gallery in any big city anywhere in the world,” said Mr Acker. Hedland Art Awards, presented by FORM at the Port Hedland Courthouse Gallery, with support of BHP Billiton and the Town of Port Hedland, showcases emerging artists alongside some of Western Australia’s most renowned indigenous and non-indigenous artists. Hedland Art Awards is Western Australia’s richest cash prize at over $100,000.
FORM executive director Lynda Dorrington said the works exhibited in the 2016 Hedland Art Awards were worthy of national recognition.
“Over the last nine years we have seen the quality and diversity of regional art grow significantly. The value of the prize pool has increased with the strength of art that our State’s regions are producing. The true value of this award lies in the opportunities that it offers to the exhibiting artists, with finalists and award winners often going on to gain national exposure and developing strong artistic careers. With our partners we are proud to deliver one of the most prominent and valuable regional art prizes in Australia,” she said.
This year 70 works were selected for admission from more than 150 entries. For the first time the application process allowed for only one work per artists to be included, offering the opportunity for more artists to be represented in the curated exhibition. Eight of the nine awards were selected by a judging panel, following a rigorous preselection process. The judges commented on the high quality of this year’s awards and their enjoyment in the process of selecting the winners.
Most Outstanding Work
Nyapuru William Gardiner (Spinifex Hill Artists) – Disco Cowboy
“Disco Cowboy demonstrates an original approach to subject matter, playful approach and formal and technical sophistication. The layered narrative is accessible to a broad audience. The artist’s work is a recontextualisation of themes and motifs explored by 20th century Australian artists such as Russel Drysdale and Sydney Nolan, drawing on histories of the region to offer an engaging and personable image of a figure in the landscape. ”
Best work by an Indigenous Artist
Lisa Uhl (Mangkaja Arts) – Karrkapi
“This work demonstrated a sophisticated approach to colour and composition, as well as confident paint handling and ambitious scale. The artist demonstrates a successful interplay between two parts of diptych, with an unlikely combination of elements that work together in a surprising and subtle way. This piece works on a number of levels, through both its aesthetic modernism and exploration of relationship to country. It rewards extended viewing.”
Best Work by a non-Indigenous artist
Ruth Leigh – Billy – Nyundu Pitja
“An impressive use of the medium – deliberate, confident, restrained, complex and yet uncluttered. Every mark is justified: a great use of empty space. This is a powerful portrait which conveys great depth of character. There is a respectful relationship of exchange with the subject, although the narrative is ambiguous. This painting was immediately striking; we wanted to learn more, and the work sustains the viewer’s interest and curiosity.”
Kathy Donnelly Judges Award
Doreen Chapman (Spinifex Hill Studio) – Untitled
“We wanted to reward an original and unexpected approach. This was a really hard decision as there was so much worthy work, but we kept coming back to this piece due to its risk taking, adventurous use of colour and mark making, the way it rewarded returned viewing. This could be a challenging work for some viewers which speaks to its degree of innovation and uniqueness. There is a delightful, uncompromising freedom in this work.”
Best Work in a Medium other than Painting of
$8 000 (Split Descision)
The was a split decision chosen due to the judges wishing to recognise both artists “working outside the box”.
Ngarralja Tommy May (Mangkaja Arts) – Wurna Juwal
Michelle Siciliano – Sometimes when everything just really gets too much.
Wurna Juwal, “This work has a striking use of colour and line, conveying a great sense of movement. A contemporary use of medium; this shows an approach with a lot of potential.”
Sometimes when everything just really gets too much the judges said: “This is a playful, wistful, minimalist piece. It is both whimsical and understated, fragile and bold.”
The Best Sculptural Work
Bruce Wiggin – Four Islands.
“This is a subtle, finely wrought object displaying a refined and delicate handling of materials. The piece is on a jewel-like scale, a precious object with intricate patterning. It is very contemporary in its aesthetic while speaking of traditions of the north-west region. A hypnotic optical effect”.
The Youth Award (under 25)
Shennielle Sambo (Karntimarta Brush Artists) – Nesting in Hedland.
“This piece is sophisticated and subtle, demonstrating a mature approach. A restrained palette with effective use of negative space. A good eye for composition and colour.”
Joshua Cocking – Cause and Affect.
“This piece shows the beginnings of a really interesting practice. It is playful and theatrical, it feels like a film still from a larger narrative that remains unknown. We are curious to know more. It is technically adept and accessible to a broad audience.”
Please contact the gallery for further photographs and information.All photographs taken at the 2016 Hedland Art Awards by Bewley Shaylor.Congratulations to all of our 2016 finalists:
Kelvin Allen, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Helen Ansell, Geraldton
Jeanne Barnes, Kununnura
Samantha Bell, Port Hedland
Jakayu Biljabu, (Martumili Artists), Newman
Shellie Blatch,Port Hedland
Selena Brown, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Diane Campbell, Karratha
Doreen Chapman, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
May Chapman, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Joshua Cocking, Broome
Kelli Dawson, Dongara
Layne Dhu-Dickie, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Jimmy Donegan, (Papulankutja Artists), Blackstone
Georgie Morrison, Newman
Amanda Firenze Pentney, Port Hedland
Melissa Foster, Broome
Suzy French, Broome
Nyarapayi Giles, (Tjarlirli Art), Tjukurla
Leanne Heenan, Port Hedland
Natalie Henry, South Hedland
Howard Holder, Port Hedland
David Hooper, South Hedland
Jen Hourquebie, Karratha
Sadie James, Coral Bay
Daisy Japulija, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Eleanor Killen, Exmouth
Billy King, (Aged Care Roebourne), Roebourne
Helen Komene, Port Hedland
Sonia Kurarra, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Ruth Leigh, Newman
Travis Lilley, Port Hedland
Benjamin Loaring, Broome
Jody Loaring, Broome
Molly Magit, Port Hedland
Jan Malkin, Karratha
Keely Markovina, Exmouth
Mulyatingki Marney, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Wesley Tyson Maselli, Fitzroy Crossing
Carrie McDowell, Cheeditha
Alana McKenzie, Exmouth
Lynette Mead, Port Hedland
Eric Mitchell, South Hedland
Neil Nicholson, Tom Price
Melissa North, South Hedland
Taylah Nowers, South Hedland
Jimmy Nukati, (Tjarlirli Art), Tjukurla
William Nyapuru Gardiner, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Marianne Penberthy, Geraldton
Elricardo Phantasmo, South Hedland
John Prince Siddon, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Nada Rawlins, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Danielle Ross, South Hedland
Shennielle Sambo, (Karntimarta Brush Artists), Warralong
Azahra Sambo, (Karntimarta Brush Artists), Warralong
Winnie Sampi, (Spinifex Hill Artists), South Hedland
Michelle Siciliano, South Hedland
Muuki Taylor, (Martumili Artists), Newman
Jenny Thomas, Port Hedland
Elizabeth Toby, (Karntimarta Brush Artists), Warralong
Ngarralja Tommy May, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Lisa Uhl, (Mangkaja Arts), Fitzroy Crossing
Joylene Warrie, (Cheeditha Art Group), Cheeditha
Bugai Whyoulter, (Martumili Artists), Newman
Cyril and Betty Whyoulter, (Martumili Artists), Newman
Bruce Wiggin, Broome
Karina Work, Port Hedland
Billy Yunkurra Atkins, (Martumili Artists), Newman
Eunice Yunurupa Porter, (Warakurna Artists), Warakurna
Nola Yurnangurnu Campbell, (Warakurna Artists), Warakurna