The Newcastle Foundation Art Prize is an acquisitive prize, with the winner receiving $10,000 and it is dedicated specifically to local Newcastle artists set up by the Newcastle Club and Newcastle Art Space.. This is my second attempt with my last effort in the first year of the prize. I did not even get picked to be hung in the exhibition.
I entered the Newcastle Club Foundation Art Prize this year as the brief stated that it had to be based on Hunter Valley flora and fauna with a theme of Cornucopia, with reference to still life and natural history so the brief is better suited to what I normally create. I have included my first very rough sketches which were quite small so that you can see what I had in mind before I did a lot of research into what the actual flora and fauna is for the Hunter Valley. I found that there are no big showy flowers like Waratahs and Proteas, but I do love the flowers that I did end up with so I just had to adjust my thinking as to how I was going to fill the floral part of my plan. Flannel flowers keep appearing in my works and they are such beautiful flowers so I expect to use them more. The flowers that appear in the arrangement are Bottlebrush, Wattle, Banksias, Flowering Gum, Wax Flowers (pink flowers) and Broadleaf Drumsticks (the yellow flower). In the final work I made my vase into a “horn of plenty” and the butterflies hark back to the work of Harriet and Helena Scott and their scientific illustrations of moths, butterflies and some flora while also including a well known Hunter Valley landmark. The birds in the painting clockwise from the top left are: Noisy Miner, Yellow Tailed Black cockatoo, Rainbow Lorikeet and a Regent Honeyeater.
I did not get the prize but the work is part of a beautiful exhibition where my work is on exhibit with other well known and respected, local artists. The work is on view until the 22nd September at Newcastle ArtSpace (91 Chinchen Street, Tighes Hill, from 12-4pm) as part of a beautiful exhibition and it is for sale. It measures 778 x 778 mms.