Judges select evocative and timeless artworks for Art Prize honours
  • Friday 06 November 2015
SC Art Prize Photography and Environment judges, winners and highly commended winners

With a beautiful photograph of the Glass House Mountains, local photographer Irma Ferreira has been announced the Landscape and Wildlife Photography Award winner in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2015.

Sponsored by the Sunshine Coast Council Environment Levy, this award category was designed to raise awareness of the environment, its beauty, significance and its intrinsic connection to Sunshine Coast lifestyles and livelihoods.

Finalists in the award demonstrated excellence in capturing the native plants, animals and natural landscapes of the Sunshine Coast.

Queensland Museum photographer Gary Cranitch said the diversity, talent and subject matter of the finalists’ pieces was stunning.

“The natural environment of the Sunshine Coast shown in these photographs is truly spectacular,” Mr Cranitch said.

“Irma Ferreira’s piece was a stand out for me, displaying a subtle mix of pastel tones and rocky volcanic mountains. It was evocative and timeless.”

Irma Ferreira received an $8000 prize and a $1500 Highly Commended prize was awarded to Mt Coolum photographer Shanna Bignel.

Cr McKay said the exhibition captured the remarkable beauty and diversity of the natural environment that surrounds us here on the Coast.

“The final 35 images that make up the Landscape and Wildlife Photography exhibition were selected from close to 500 entries, and as you explore the exhibition, it’s incredible to think they were all taken in our own backyard,” Cr McKay said.

“I encourage everyone to visit the Arts and Ecology Centre to see this exhibition and truly appreciate how lucky we are to be surrounded by this beautiful environment.”

The winner of the Inaugural Environment Art Award has also been selected, with Donna Davis taking the honours and the $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Sunshine Coast Council through the Living Smart program.

Donna’s piece was a part of the Two Dimensional Award category.

Co-judges John Dahlsen, a contemporary environmental artist and author, and Dr Lisa Chandler, Senior Lecturer in Art and Design at the University of the Sunshine Coast, said the artwork encapsulated an excellent environmental and ecological statement.

“Donna Davis’s work stood out for its strength in being able to be read on many levels,” the judges said.

“Its beautiful, intriguing imagery hooks the viewer in.

“It is a beautifully presented, contemporary, professional work with a powerful timeless reach.”

Throughout the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2015, a panel of experts selected 20 pieces from the finalists across seven exhibitions for the Inaugural Environment Art Award.

The chosen artworks explored local environmental themes and issues and the relationship between people and the Sunshine Coast natural environment.

The Landscape and Wildlife Photography exhibition runs until November 25 at the Arts and Ecology Centre, Maroochy Bushland Botanic Garden.

Visit council’s gallery website for more details.

Pictured left to right Gary Cranitch - Sunshine Coast Landscape and Wildlife Photography Award Judge; Andrew Zylstra – Highly Commended, Inaugural Environment Award Art Awar; Shanna Bignell – Highly Commended, Sunshine Coast Landscape and Wildlife Photography Award; Donna Davis – Winner, Inaugural Environment Award Art Award; Irma Ferreira – Winner, Sunshine Coast Landscape and Wildlife Photography Award and John Dahlsen - Co-Judge Inaugural Environment Award Art Award.