A drawing of a black cat muse by a Victorian artist has taken out this year’s Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize.
The 2018 competition attracted a record number of entries with 200 submissions received from across Australia.
From this unprecedented field 35 art works were shortlisted for the prize, judged by acclaimed Australian artist Joe Furlonger – a nine-time finalist of the Archibald Prize.
Ginny Grayson from Millgrove in country Victoria was announced as the winner at a special function at Noosa Regional Gallery on Friday night.
Her piece, “Min Little Black Muse”, drawn with charcoal on paper, received $4,000 in prize money.
Auspiced by Noosa Regional Gallery the national award was established by John McCrea in 2015 after the passing of contemporary visual artist, art educator and collector, Lyn McCrea.
Gallery Director Michael Brennan said the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize honours Lyn’s passion for drawing as fundamental to visual arts practice.
“The quality of the shortlisted art works was quite exceptional and the large number of entries also demonstrates how important drawing remains to contemporary art practices,” Mr Brennan said.
“The approaches to drawing in these works varies from realistic works through to more gestural and intuitive images. There are even two animated works, stretching our understanding of what drawing can be.
“As might be expected in a contemporary open-call exhibition – particularly in Noosa – landscape and environment feature substantially across a number of the works, while portraiture and the human figure also emerges as a significant theme.
“Conceptually, the entries range from the humorous to the political to the deeply personal. It makes for a really compelling exhibition,” says Mr Brennan.
A People’s Choice Award, proudly sponsored by Friends Noosa Regional Gallery, will be announced at the end of the exhibition on 2 December, 2018.
The next generation of artists were also acknowledged at Friday night’s event, with the DRAW Student Drawing Award winners announced.
The inaugural contemporary drawing prize attracted 44 entries and was open to all Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 students living on the Sunshine Coast and Gympie Region.
DRAW Student Drawing Award winners:
Mahli Humphreys, Year 9, Sunshine Beach State High School, “A Study of 4 Cacti”
Linden Pike, Year 12, Meridan State College, “Missing Something”
Ava Brechbuhl, Year 9, Sunshine Beach State High School, “Night’s Mind”
The awards were generously supported by the community, with philanthropist, Bruce Dahl providing $1,500 and $1,000 to the first and second prize winners respectively, while additional donations were provided by Platinum Tax Solutions, Noosa Shores Resort, Oxlades Art Supplies, Bank of Queensland Noosa and Friends Noosa Regional Gallery.
DRAW finalists’ works will be hung alongside the Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize exhibition at the Noosa Regional Gallery until 2 December, 2018.
Entry to the Gallery is free.