The Cairns Regional Art Gallery in my opinion is one of Australia’s best regional galleries. This beautiful building in the heart of Cairns is always a delight to visit and last week was no exception when I was charged with the task of judging the 66th Annual Cairns Art Society Annual Exhibition.
I spent Thursday afternoon judging and I announced the results to a packed gallery of 225 on Friday night.
I wanted to see evidence that the work on show was a response of being an artist in Far North Queensland. 52 artworks were selected and featured examples of oils, acrylics, watercolour, pastel, mixed media and a variety of sculptural materials. The variety on show was commendable, but I expected to see more watercolour and drawing mediums. The strongest section was sculpture, closely followed by acrylic painting. The standard of presentation was excellent as was the arrangement of the entire exhibition.
Most artists responded to aspects of the tropical environment through realism., while 2 abstracts provided another way of ‘seeing’.
As with all art societies, there is a broad mix of skill and ‘thinking’ on display. It’s great to see both amateurs and professionals being given the opportunity to exhibit together in such an inspiring gallery. It is also very pleasing to see such a gallery acknowledge its local artists. This type of support is not only valued, but is essential to the welfare of art and artists in regional Australia.
Two artists featured work from their recent overseas travels and both added colour and mood to the exhibition.
Far North Queensland is beautiful, but isolated. This exhibition tells in part, the story of living and working in a unique part of Australia.
In my next post I will discuss all but one of the artworks I selected as major prize winners. A following post will feature the major award winner.