Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2010 winner announced
  • Friday 27 August 2010

Young Brisbane artist, Miles Hall has beaten out tough competition from across the country to scoop this year’s prestigious Sunshine Coast Art Prize (SCAP).

At a gala event tonight (Thursday) at Caloundra Regional Gallery, Mr Hall was awarded this year’s top honour for Splice (Pine Lime), described by judge John McDonald as “an essentially abstract picture that generates a range of pictorial tensions”

Mr McDonald went on to describe the winning art work as “a kind of landscape, depicting tangled undergrowth or a reflection in water. The severe green line across the bottom of the work creates a jarring contrast, bringing us back to the formal issues of line versus plane, depth as opposed to flatness.

“It’s an edgy, speculative affair that never aspires to perfection, but that’s part of the appeal,” he said.

By contrast, the ‘highly commended’ award went to Catherine O’Connell’s Civic Centre, which Mr McDonald called “as close to a perfect combination of intention and technique as one may find in this show”.

He added: “Few will fail to be impressed by the artist’s painstaking mastery of charcoal, and her careful delineation of a piece of urban geometry that would make even Jeffrey Smart think twice.”

Now in its fifth consecutive year, SCAP provides a distinguished contribution to the national art calendar, attracting talented artists from around the country to enter contemporary 2D art.

McDonald commented on SCAP’s avoidance of an obvious theme such as portraiture or still life, leaves the door open to many different styles and genres in a range of media, making the judge’s role a highly subjective one.

“It was by no means a straightforward business to choose winners for this year’s SCAP, especially when one is already familiar with the work of many participants. For the sake of the competition let’s hope this same degree of difficulty is preserved in the years to come,” he said.

Caloundra Regional Gallery Manager, John Waldron mirrored Mr McDonald’s sentiments, saying he was impressed with the vast number of entries received and the diversity of media and application.

“With well over 400 entries received this year Australia-wide, narrowing the field to 40 was a challenge, let alone choosing only one winner from such a dynamic range of artists,” Mr Waldron said.

"I’m proud that Sunshine Coast Council is in a position to showcase the tremendous talent displayed by leading local and national artists and encourage local residents to visit the gallery to see this outstanding art work for themselves.”

Mr Waldron added a special thank you to Friends of the Regional Gallery as Principal Partner and Caloundra Tourism for providing valuable marketing support.

A People’s Choice Award will go to the artist who garners the most votes from visitors to the gallery, which will exhibit the SCAP finalists until 4 October. There is also a Children's Choice Award, with an art pack for the winning child. All SCAP art works are for sale, with the exception of the winning work. During the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, the gallery is open everyday from 10am to 4pm. Entry is free.

SCAP is funded by the Sunshine Coast Council to encourage artistic excellence and to bring quality artwork to a regional audience.