Bega Valley Art Awards 2008…

 

The winning work (above) Craig Cameron’s The 50 Tribes of Sorrow  and runner-up (below) Sue Chancellor’s Tidal Reflections.

 

 

The Gang wound up the manic week-and-a-half moving stint with a dash to Bega for last Friday evening’s announcement of the Bega Art Awards 2008. In the end we got a lift down from Canberra with Nige and Wills (while Pa hung around for the afternoon settlement palaver – otherwise we’d have missed the opening entirely.) And what a big night it turned out to be, with a large crowd in attendance and anticipation riding dangerously high…

Nigel Lendon (Associate Head of the ANU School of Art and Convener of the Postgraduate Program) judged the event this year and spent the afternoon reappraising the selected works and exercising his prerogative as adjudicator (sending the long suffering gallery staff into a ninth hour rehang!) Hence the dangerous anticipation (after several of the previously selected artists suddenly found themselves given the chop.) Perhaps next time there could be a salon des refusés down in the Bowlo annexe – if only to extend the interest and keep everybody sweet…

Eighty plus entries were narrowed down to fifty odd and represented a broad range of predominantly 2-D work (although there was only one photomedia piece and no indigenous representation, which we found kinda odd.) And there were only three sculptures; a mad construct of ‘junk’ from Dr Peri Winkle, a good-humoured jokey play on Nigel’s own readymade by his old mate Marr Grounds, and a pair of ceramic whales. From a region that boasts a complex of established practitioners, one can only suspect that the relatively low prize purse proved too much of a disincentive (absenteeism being the most notable aspect of the pack) though perhaps the award is generally understood to be an amateur pitch, in which case fair is fair. All this and more will no doubt be revealed as the Gang gets a better handle on the nuances of the local playing field…

Anyhoo, we had a case of serious post-traumatic-move-syndrome and while the lights were on nobody was even vaguely home (it was a genuine case of jelly brain on auto pilot – as in total mental and physical exhaustion.) Nonetheless it was great to catch up with peeps we hadn’t seen in 12 years (Greg Pennefather, et al) and fascinating to see who’s been bitten by the art bug in that time. Following the opening we went to dinner at the Red Cafe (really good vego tucker) and enjoyed a lively debrief over a bevie or three before finally wending our way back over Murtle Mountain to the hideout (now stuffed to the rafters with a surfiet houseload of gear trucked down from the ‘Berra…the building of Pa’s shed can’t come soon enough.) Nige and Willa spent the night in the nick before wending their way to Marr’s the next day, and the Gang slipped into two days of comatosed recovery mode…

All in all it was a lovely, if intense, little sojourn – for snaps of the evening go here.

 

                                   

                                Nigel with winning artist Craig Cameron.

 

 

Post script: Nigel’s just emailed to say that there were three other ceramicists in the show (as well as the whales)…we knew that…(!!)…

We’ll have to mark it down to spongey brain. And go back to the gallery to check it all out again in the clear light of a rested day.

2 thoughts on “Bega Valley Art Awards 2008…

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