Friday, April 27, 2012

Gallipoli Art Prize - 27 April

I do like going along to this show.  All the ingredients were present from last year, the scruffy premises of the club adds a great deal of sincerity to this show which is open to amateur and professional artists alike.  The terms of reference are a little vague so you get a real mixed bag on display.  The Gallipoli club says the art prize will be awarded to the artist who best depicts the spirit of the Gallipoli Campaign as expressed in the club's "creed".  The creed is: "we believe that within the community there exists an obligation for all to preserve the special qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli Campaign and bequeathed to all humanity as a foundation for perpetual peace and universal freedom".   Is that all clear?  Okay, let's check out the 2012 entrants ...
The winner this year was Geoff Harvey for his 'Trench Interment'.  It was an interesting work focusing on all manner of implements buried in a trench but probably not one of my top picks.  I did like Kerrie Lester's 'Lest we forget' (pictured above) which featured a number of vintage badges, but then again I am an ebay tragic for that sort of ephemera.   Robyn Sweaney's 'Last Light' of a soldiers memorial hall draped in poppies was a nice entry, and to my mind was right on brief.  Craig Waddell's big waratah painting was really nice (and quite pricey) but I didn't really see how that fit in with the theme.  I think its great that this prize can attract quality artists like Craig but I would prefer he did a work especially for the comp rather than (as it appears) just mail one in from his most recent body of work.  Paul Ryan, fresh from winning a point from Big Lamington for his Sulman effort has a work in here that I didn't mind although the Quilty paint slathered on digger did have a queer look on his face which will keep him out of the points this week. 

Points.  I will give 3 to Kerrie Lester.  Despite the fact that her work presents a few conservation issues (some of the badges are already falling off) I am a sucker for a collection of vintage ephemera.  The photo doesn't really do it justice, you need to see this in person.  I'll add my 2 points to the judges Highly Commended to Bill Nix for his Memorial (pictured left, yours for $7k) and give one point to Craig Handley for his budget friendly Cenotaph.  I'd usually post links to all the images on the Gallipoli Club website but it appears they are a little behind as of writing. Give it a couple of days and am sure you will be able to track down the show somewhere around here if you can't make it to the club before May 11.

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