PHOTO GALLERY: Clarence River Arts prize inspires
WHETHER it was the nature surrounding them, or the folklore of their homeland, there were plenty of sources of inspiration for the winning artworks on display at the Clarence River Arts Festival.
The annual event, now in its 51st year, recognised the efforts of Clarence Valley artists in a variety of mediums, from paintings to photographs and sculptures to Indigenous art.
Members' first prize winner Julie McKenzie said the win meant she could now buy more art supplies to continue her work.
"It's great to have festivals and awards like this to keep promoting the arts in our area," she said.
"A vibrant arts community contributes towards a strong local economy, and that's a fact. It's important to support the arts and the artists who work hard to contribute with their creativity."
Ms McKenzie's award-winning painting was inspired by cabbage tree palms in a rainforest, and makes up part of a series on the subject of rainforests.
"My thing is I like to paint forests because they keep getting knocked down, and I feel like I'm recording how they once were," the Maclean-based artist said.
Similarly inspired by nature was Fine Art Open first prize winner Margot Grant for her work called View From The Blue Hut, which is part of a series called Headwaters, based on the origins of the Clarence River.
"It's a project that's been going for a few years where a group of local artists, myself included, have gone to the headwaters of the Clarence to explore the area," Ms Grant said.
"People don't always get to see where the river actually comes from, and the drawing was directly from a special place that really inspired me.
"The win is very special, I'm over the moon and it's very inspiring to keep working into the future."
Drawing on the mythology of her homeland of New Zealand in the sculpture section was Jenny Hadimioglu with her Maori-inspired taniwha.
It was only through a friend's encouragement that Ms Hadimioglu entered the competition in the first place, but after claiming the top prize in the sculpture section, she said she was glad she entered.