JADA winner pays tribute to Grafton
IT HAS references to Rome, a tiny piano and is an ode to the Clarence.
It is also the winner of the 2018 Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award.
The animation, titled Ode to Clarence and created by Sydney artist Todd Fuller, was awarded the $30,000 prize by judge Anne Ryan tonight.
The hand-drawn animation was created during a residency at Grafton Regional Gallery in 2016.
In his artist statement, Mr Fuller said the work, created during the construction of the new Grafton bridge, showed a bitter-sweetness to the town's progress watching the new concrete structure be built beside the iron bridge it loved and loathed.
"In the animation, a man arrives in town carrying a tiny piano, falling in love with the bridge, he plays his piano on the banks of the Clarence River while the bridge is being constructed," it read.
"Akin Nero fiddling while Rome burnt to the ground, Ode to Clarence explores changing rural identities and our relationships to them."
Art Gallery of NSW Australian prints, drawings and watercolours curator Ms Ryan said she picked the work because it was a nice exploration of both drawing and subject, which just happened to be of Grafton.
"It's very strong, it's very sustained ... it holds your attention through the whole animation," she said.
"I think it's a great thing for the prize and in particular as the prize is acquisitive it gets to stay here in town."
Ms Ryan said she was pleased to be able to judge the drawings at their best, hung and lit properly in the gallery.
"There is a very broad range of works, not just in the way they're drawn but in the subject, which is always interesting for me," she said.
"I've come across some new names that I haven't seen before but I really like, which is a plus for me."
The Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award exhibition is open at Grafton Regional Gallery until December 9.