Tingoora artist Robyn Dower and husband Russell with Robyn’s winning sculpture, “Feathered” … it was a successful night for the couple; Russell went on to win a bottle of Kingsley Grove wine in the raffle

October 8, 2020

A brooding painting of a Queensland farmhouse being slowly revealed as a dust storm passes overhead has won this year’s South Burnett Art Competition and the $3000 cash prize.

The painting, “As The Dust Moves Away” by Sunshine Coast artist Keith Blake, was named this year’s winner at the opening night held at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery last Friday.

It will now be added to the South Burnett Regional Council’s permanent art collection.

Blake previously took out a first prize in 2018 in the “Oils Or Acrylics” section of the South Burnett acquisitive with “Boulder Break” but this year went one better by claiming the major award.

The annual art competition’s usual bumper audience on opening night had to be limited due to pandemic restrictions, with total guests restricted to 50 under a COVID Safe plan.

The event – which celebrated its 22nd birthday this year – is one of the most lucrative annual art competitions in the South Burnett, as well as the region’s oldest.

Thanks to a large roll-up of sponsors – including the South Burnett Regional Council and Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, Wondai Lions, the Wondai Markets, Hobbs and Associates Accountants, Bendigo Bank, the Parkside Group, Bunnings Kingaroy, MP Ken O’Dowd, Senator James McGrath, Cr Kathy Duff, Evelyn and Shannus O’Sullivan and the gallery itself – the competition offered more than $9300 in prize money spread across nine categories.

There were 185 entries from 65 artists – a result that packed out the gallery’s exhibition walls.

Curator Elaine Madill welcomed the audience and thanked them for observing social distancing during the evening.

She also thanked the large number of artists who submitted works to the competition.

Elaine said this year’s judge – Michael Eather, the director of Brisbane’s Fireworks Gallery – had spent a very long day judging and grading all the entries.

He had found the task of picking winners quite difficult, she said, because of the high standard of work submitted and had passed on his congratulations to everyone who had taken part.

  • All entries in the South Burnett Art Competition will remain on show at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery in Haly Street, Wondai from 10:00am to 4:00pm daily until the end of October. Admission to view the exhibition is free.
South Burnett Regional Council CEO Mark Pitt and Mayor Brett Otto admire the winning entry, Keith Blake’s “As The Dust Moves Away” … the work will become part of the Council’s permanent art collection
Bronwyn Langford Martoo was presented with one of her prizes by gallery curator Elaine Madill … Bronwyn won a first prize, two seconds and a Highly Commended for her works, which were entered in three of the competition’s nine categories
Photographer Carl Hogg took top prize in this year’s Photography section for his photo of feeding birds 
Cherbourg artists Johnny Cobbo and Rocco Langton look over the works in the competition’s Indigenous Art section … Rocco went on to win this year with his work, “GoogooImajia”
Anne Woodrow, from Bendigo Bank, presented artist Deidre Amos with her first prize in the Oils and Acrylics section
Tiana McDougall took first prize in the “Any Other Medium” section and was presented with her prize money by Cr Kathy Duff … Tiana also won two commendations for other works
Cherbourg artist Rocco Langton received his first prize in this year’s Indigenous Art section from Cherbourg Council CEO Chatur Zala (with help from Zala’s son Kunj)
The standard of photography was particularly high this year … Kingaroy photographer John Dalton discussed his photo of Coolabunia farmer John Larsen with South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto
Well-known artist Graham W. Smith won first prize in this year’s watercolour section and second in the pastel section … he was presented with one of his prizes by Robert and Ruby Kuhrt, from the Parkside Group
Here’s how you do it! South Burnett CEO Mark Pitt and Cr Kathy Duff demonstrate how to say “G’day!” safely in the pandemic age (as well as how to pink things out to raise awareness about breast cancer)

* * *

Full List Of Prize Winners

Acquisitive – sponsored by the South Burnett Regional Council

Keith Blake – “As The Dust Moves Away” – $3000

Section 1A – Oil or Acrylic – sponsored by Bendigo Bank

1st. Deidre Amos – “Clouds Over Somerset Dam” – $500

2nd. Bronwyn Langford Martoo – “Mother Father” – $200

Highly commended – Keith Blake – “It Must Be Monday”

Commended – Maria van Kempen – “A Field Of Sunshine”

Section 1B – Watercolour (Pure) – sponsored by the Parkside Group

1st. Graham W. Smith – “Country Storm” – $500

2nd. Sue Lederhose – “Emus At Mitchell” – $200

Highly commended – Colleen Helmore – “Gardenias and Glass”

Commended – Trish Erkens – “Evening Shadows”

Section 1C – Pastel – sponsored by Hobbs & Associates Accountants and Wondai Lions

1st. Carmel Birchley – “Glowing Landscape” – $500

2nd. Graham W. Smith – “Billabong Moonrise” – $200

Highly commended – Gail Thomas – “Outback Locals”

Commended – Tiana McDougall – “Kingaroy Sky”

Section 1D – Any Other Medium – Bunnings Kingaroy and Ken O’Dowd MP

1st. Tiana McDougall – “Thirty Cents” – $500

2nd. Patricia van Kempen – “Sunflower With Bird” – $200

Highly commended – Mez Truskett – “For The Love Of Murgon”

Commended – Carmel Birchley – “You Called”

Section 2 – Photography (Open) – sponsored by Wondai Regional Art Gallery

1st. Carl Hogg – “Swallows’ Dinner Time” – $500

2nd. Denise Keelan – “Norway Sunset” – $200

Highly commended – Richard Henderson – “Ascension”

Commended – John Dalton – “Waiting And Thinking”

Section 3 – Sculptures and Ceramics – sponsored by Senator James McGrath and Wondai Markets

1st. Robyn Dower – “Feathered” – $500

2nd. Preston Fisher – “Resilience” – $200

Highly commended – Maureen Addenbrooke – “Green Heart Of The Burnett”

Commended – Sandra Hoffman – “Golden V”

Section 4 – Indigenous Art – sponsored by Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council and Cr Kathy Duff

1st. Rocco Langton – “Googoolmajia” – $500

2nd. Venus Rabbitt – “Bralbin” – $200

Highly commended – Kane Brunjes – “Days Between”

Commended – Venus Rabbitt – “Kumar Family”

Section 5 – South Burnett Artists Only – sponsored by Wondai Regional Art Gallery

1st. Shannus O’Sullivan – “Looking Back” – $500

2nd. Bronwyn Langford Martoo – “Father Searching” – $200

Highly commended – Denise Keelan – “Dreamtime Serpent”

Commended – Sharron McDonald – “Fisherman’s Delight”

Section 6 – Australian Poetry Theme – sponsored by Evelyn and Shannus O’Sullivan
(Artist is to choose any Australian poem, written by any Australian author between 1800 and 1900, and use any medium to interpret that poem)

1st. Bronwyn Langford Martoo – “Narrow Nature” – $300

2nd. Gwen Olm – “My Country” – $100

Highly commended – Tiana McDougall – “Freedom”

Commended – Bronwyn Langford Martoo – “The Olden Place”

People’s Choice – sponsored by Wondai Regional Art Gallery

Olga Hemberg – “Aqua La Vida” – $100

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[Updated with correction]

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