A moody monotone oil painting of the Bluff by Spreyton–based artist Mary Wilson has won the tidal.20: City of Devonport Tasmanian Art Award’s People’s Choice prize.
Devonport Regional Gallery Director Geoff Dobson said Mary’s painting captured a specific moment in time, a grey day just before the crowds arrived for the 2020 Devonport Triathlon.
“The public obviously felt a connection with the painting, with many recognising the Bluff and the moody weather, as Mary’s work attracted a clear majority of votes,” Mr Dobson said.
“Although the Bluff will not be added to the collection because the People’s Choice is a non-acquisitive award, it is indeed an honour for artists to be recognised for connecting with the community through their work.”
Mary said she found drawing an effortless pursuit from a young age.
Determined to become a famous artist at 15, she enrolled in a three-year Fine Arts Certificate Course at the local Tafe College in 1978.
Despite being unable to complete the training, Mary embarked on an artist’s dream of living in Italy and France where she painted spasmodically.
In 2006, Mary returned to serious art making, painting local landscapes and still-life in oil. She now works full time as an artist in her South Spreyton studio.
Mary said the mood in her painting of the Bluff is an expression of emotional connection, nostalgia, and belonging.
“For locals, this beach and its shoreline hold a lifetime of memories. Footsteps in the sand represent the present, the past, and the future,” she said.
“As constant as its tides, generations will continue to come and go, but the Bluff remains our eternal playground, each person’s story written in the sky.”
The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by One Agency Collins Real Estate, was announced at the close of the biennial tidal.20 exhibition, which ran from 5 December 2020 until 30 January 2021.
The major $15,000 tidal.20: City of Devonport Tasmanian Art Award, sponsored by the Devonport City Council and the Friends of the Devonport Gallery, was awarded in December to Hobart artist Janine Combes.
The next tidal will take place in 2022.
Photo details: Mary Wilson, The Bluff, 2020, Oil on canvas, 125 x 125 cm.
paranaple arts centre | 0419 505 838 | firstname.lastname@example.org