Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Easter Show 2013 - 21 March to 3 April
Regular readers will know that I always get out to the Easter Show and 2013 was no different. Yours truly even camped out a few nights in Homebush to take it all in. This is one of the oldest continually awarded arts prizes in Australia (I think it could be the oldest, the Show itself started in 1823 and they started exhibiting arts in 1869 - the oldest AGNSW prize by reference is the Wynne from 1897) and I think it is one of the greatest as the amateurs get a real good crack at it.
There are 6 separate painting categories plus drawing, print making and photography before you start to include all the crafts which are sometimes works of art in themselves. With ~5 ribbons to hand out in each category (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 2 x Highly Commended) that is a lot of ribbons up for grabs. I'll start with one of my favourites, the drawing section. This was judged by Big Lamington favourite Michael Lindeman (& congrats to him for having a finalist in the Archibald and Sulman again this year). I liked how Michael rewarded both traditional and non-traditional works. He gave a white ribbon (3rd prize) to Bruce Roxburgh for his work 'Green Polychaete' (at top, yours for $950, but Bruce keeps the ribbon!). Having won a ribbon previously for a very naive bird painting I do have a soft spot for the Australian Bird section and was surprised to see a flower take 2nd place, but it is Australian Birds and/or Flowers so you are allowed to nix the birds if you must (although I am glad birds took the other 4 ribbons with Kookaburra's being especially popular this year). I do like the still lifes and Linda Butterfield's 'Green Pears in a Chinese Bowl' (above, yours for $1,650) was a very worthy winner. Not only that but it won a special purple ribbon for excellence (the one just above the blue ribbon for first) and it also won the Royal Agricultural Society Art Committee Award for best arts exhibit in all classes (that is the purple ribbon at top with the braidy gold ends). Pretty impressive ribbon haul there. My other favourite category is of course Class 1, Rural Subject and/or landscape painting. There are a lot of stereotypical images here of the land here, and I should hope so, although I did think the triptych copy of the Frederick McCubbin's The Pioneer a little too much. All in all there are hundreds of works to see and it is really refreshing to see the popularity of arts at the grass roots with nary a government grant in sight!
Points: 3 to Bruce for his green drawing. 2 to Linda for the pears (you could've got first if they were quince - but that is another story) and I will give 1 point to yours truly! I didn't actually enter any paintings or drawings this year but for the last 5 years I have been mimicking Brown Council (well more accurately they have been following my lead) and performance arting my way through some CWA recipes by entering Lamingtons in the perishable cooking category. And joy of joys I finally snagged a ribbon. Well done me.