Now those that know me (and I realise this blog isn't as anonymous as I would've liked but on the flipside I can also tell which artists google themselves) will know that I am a huge supporter of the Royal Easter Show. I even have a couple of ribbons from them! So it was natural I would head over to the Binnie Pavillion to check out the Arts & Crafts on Day 1 of this years show.
The show gets hundreds of exhibits in a range of categories. The works tend to steer closely to the traditional, quite understandable when you consider the traditional nature of the RAS itself. It has exhibited arts since 1869 which is considerably earlier than some of the better known Sydney prizes (1897 for the Wynne and 1921 for the Archibald). One of the things I like about the competitions at the Easter show, nowadays officially known as the 'Sydney Royal Arts & Crafts Show', is that not only do the judges hand out the first, second, third ribbons but the competitors are asked to name a price and the punters can walk off with whatever takes their fancy. I think everyone should go to the show - woodchopping and precision driving are the classic attractions but definitely put the Arts & Crafts on your itinerary.
Points - I never thought I would say this - 3 to me. There is a Big Lamington in the drawing section this year! No ribbons for the work but some clever collector (and totally unrelated party for all those that thought it was my mother) spotted a bargain on the preview night and has already put the red spot on my entry! I am back at the show over Easter and will hand out the remaining points then ...
Post script - 2 points for Jeanette Garben's Midnight Pony, given on acclamation from two of the junior collectors accompanying me who liked both the pony and the train in this still life (a bargain at $400 and yes, it is sold). 1 point to Garry Pettitt who picked up a few ribbons, the Presidents ribbon for his rural landscape 'Govett's Leap vista' (yours for $9,500, interestingly despite picking up a ribbon from the President the work did not get near the podium from the main judge, Cressida Campbell) and a 1st prize ribbon for his 'Life on the Land' in the figurative section ($5,000 for this one). Both still available, surely the punters are looking to drop a couple of grand on art right next to the showbag pavillion? In the tradition of the show I should also hand out 2 highly commended ribbons (although I note that judge Tina Spira in the miniature section didn't get that memo and only handed out one, a little ungenerous in my opinion). One will go to Susan Stafford for her watercolour 'Poppies Galore' (which won the blue ribbon in its category and is available for $1,000 although my wife has her eyes on it) and the other I will give to the Robyne Palmer's Black Cockatoo in Class 6, that would be the Australian Bird or Flower section, I think I she might have some competition next year.