Emma Walker, Keys Bridge in Flood  2014, Graphite, charcoal, pencil and pastel on paper, 150 x 200cm, Winner of 2014 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award
Emma Walker, Keys Bridge in Flood 2014, Graphite, charcoal, pencil and pastel on paper, 150 x 200cm, Winner of 2014 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award

ARTEFACTS: Capturing the catharsis of studio frustration


Keys Bridge in Flood  2014

Graphite, charcoal, pencil and pastel on paper

150 x 200cm

Winner of 2014 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award

North Coast artist, Emma Walker, won the 2014 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award.

Emma Walker's childhood was spent living between Sydney and south-western NSW as well as traveling around the world with her family. Currently the artist lives and works in Mullumbimby, and is one of the founders of the Byron School of Art.

Emma studied at the National Art School where she completed a Diploma of Fine Arts from 1991-93.  In 2000 she returned to NAS and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  She has also studied in Italy and has travelled extensively.

The artist's first solo exhibitions were at King St Gallery On Burton in Sydney. Since then she has held numerous exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne at Tim Olsen Gallery and Flinders Lane Gallery. She is represented by Arthouse Gallery in Sydney and Flinders Lane Gallery in Melbourne. Her work is represented in many private, corporate and public collections.

Her artist statement reveals her winning drawing, Keys Bridge in Flood.

"This drawing captures a catharsis of studio frustration.  An outpouring of violent, physical action.  A jabbing fist of charcoal, a swinging, stabbing arm reacting to the resistance of paper, the wall and the familiar plague of self-doubt that invariably comes.  Always uninvited.

For me the works that are most successful, are ones that have involved some kind of struggle.  Idea, action, response, struggle, perseverance, obliteration, reconstruction, more perseverance and finally… resolution.

As the marks and rubbings accumulated, something began to emerge.  A place, a memory, the sensation of a rushing momentum and finally the blessed feeling of possibility and a release.  A flood in more ways than one."



The wonderful Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA) is currently brightening up the Gallery. The JADA is the gallery's flagship biennial art prize graciously sponsored by the Friends of Grafton Gallery and continues to celebrate Australian contemporary drawing at its finest..

The JADA celebrates drawing in all its forms. From the expressive and the abstract, to the hyper-realism that is beyond belief, the works evoke a poetic and emotional response to our environment and the human condition. Many of the finalists selected question and challenge the notion of the traditional drawing, while others provide a contemporary perspective and reinvigorate those traditions.

This year that tradition of excellence continues with 56 artists selected from a record 659 entries for the exhibition which will continue its touring legacy, travelling to communities across Australia promoting contemporary drawing to regional audiences for the next two years.

Teo Treloar, This is impermanence 2019, graphite pencil on paper, 56 x 76 cm u/f. Winner of 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer.
Teo Treloar, This is impermanence 2019, graphite pencil on paper, 56 x 76 cm u/f. Winner of 2020. Courtesy of the Artist and Andrew Baker Art Dealer.

This year's JADA winner is Teo Treloar. Teo received a Masters Degree from Sydney College of the Arts in 2006. He has taught Visual Art and drawing for the last decade, and currently works at Wollongong University as a Lecturer in Visual Arts.

Teo's main art practice is drawing and this week we are featuring a short interview with him about his work.

Where did your inspiration for this drawing come from?

The drawing is about my own experiences with depression and anxiety disorders, whilst also reflecting on contemporary ideas of masculinity, the writing of Franz Kafka and the master engravings of Albrecht Durer. 

How many times have you entered the JADA awards?

This is my first time.

What would this award mean to you if you won?

 I don't use drawing as a way to prepare for the creation of other artworks like paintings or sculptures, so drawing is my primary method of engaging in the creative act. Winning the Jacaranda as an artist in this context would mean a great deal to me. 

What got you into drawing and why do you draw?

I have always drawn as a way of making sense of my presence in this world. I continue to draw because I find it intellectually and artistically engaging, as well as challenging. 


Out and About

Spring is great time to head north on an art road trip to Lismore Regional Gallery.


Penny Evans: Language Of The Wounded

Language of the Wounded is an exhibition of powerful new work by Penny Evans. Referencing bones or keloid scars, Penny's ceramic wall installation explores a system of signs, an hieroglyphics-like language strewn across the gallery wall.

Each piece is striated and scarred exploring the widespread traditional practices in Australia of body scarification like a history inscribed on the body, where each deliberately placed scar tells a story of pain, endurance, identity, status, beauty, courage, sorrow and grief.

Evolving from the designs and patterns Penny has explored for many years in the decorative aspect of her ceramics practice, these new works reference dispossessed ancestors fallen during frontier conflicts, the billions of our native animals who perished as a consequence of multiple environmental disasters in recent years and intergenerationally traumatised peoples from everywhere.

The work also creates a rhythm of cultural forms that evokes cultural connectedness, a cadence that lies at the very heart of our country. This exhibition is on display until November 1.



As a direct response to the UN International Year of Indigenous Languages, the National Gallery of Australia developed a major travelling exhibition, Body Language.

For many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people identity is a source of strength and reliance, there are many ways in which we identify, what we believe in, how we look, how we feel and how we see ourselves in society. Language is fundamental to the expression of culture identity, before the arrival of the British colonisers in 1788 there were over 250 Indigenous Australian languages, including 800 dialects, but today those numbers have dramatically declined to under 50 spoken languages.

We have many forms of language including the art of visual language this comes in many forms. Aboriginal people traditionally painted on rock surfaces, scar trees, barks, on the body and in the sand to tell the stories of ancestors and creation. Symbols were drawn in the sand as maps showing the young initiates where to find waterholes, food and to teach about hunting and how to recognise animal tracks. Aboriginal symbols are an essential part of a long artistic tradition in Australian Aboriginal Art and remain the visual form to retain and record significant information.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people did not have a written language but shared their oral stories thought-out generations, Body Language will explore the iconography of language as expressed through symbols and patterns and will include works that explore these themes. Exhibition material including text and labels will be produced in bi-lingual form as a result of direct consultation with the Indigenous Nations and Language Groups represented in the exhibition. This exhibition is on display until November 8.

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