With its unassuming entrance off Little Malop Street, Art Is… Studio and Gallery can be easily missed. But an obscure doorway leading to a flight of stairs takes you to a hidden art space and an interesting array of artwork. The gallery is holding its second Contemporary Art Prize exhibition with over 130 entries adorning the walls. To be eligible for the prize, all artwork must be 12 inches by 12 inches in size and can be in any medium. The exhibition features photography, prints, collage, drawings and of course paintings.
Russell Ekas, oil on canvas, Lucy Keeler. (Thanks to Art Is… for allowing me to publish this image.)
This year’s winner is Lucy Keeler with her highly textured portrait ‘Russell Ekas’. The oil paint is applied thickly with a thick impasto technique and has a rich, creamy, buttery, tactile quality.
Susan Sutton, judge for this year’s award said, “This is a strong contemporary work which engages the viewer immediately. The work has a personality and life of its own while still leaving something to the imagination and further interpretation.”
Keeler receives $500 for her work. Another five artists were prize winners, each receiving $100: Russell Brazier’s lino cut The Annunciation; Karen Merwart intriguing photo Confusion, Lyn Dickson Curious Collection, Janet Cattlin’s wood cut Frog amongst my Shamrocks, and Annita Peter’s drawing Repose in charcoal and conte (see below). Repose displays a hint of Egon Schiele in those torturous meandering lines.
There are many other interesting works of art in this exhibition by established and emerging artists. The exhibition is on until Friday October 8th and well worth a visit.