Coraki artist nets top prize
SUPER realism came to the Bentley Public Hall yesterday as Coraki’s Joanna Burgler took out this year’s Bentley Art Prize.
Ms Burgler, who won the prize last year, was victorious again in the open art division with her striking and technically flawless work representing a fairly humble everyday object: a pile of fishing nets.
However, the nets were far from ordinary in the context of Ms Burgler’s painting. The nets, chains and ropes were made to look larger than life – hence the super realism tag – thanks to her intoxicating mix of colour and detail.
The work was inspired by a trip Ms Burgler made to Evans Head a few months back. She spent the next two months crafting her work.
“It’s hot off the press,” she said.
Speaking to The Northern Star yesterday shortly after being told of her win, Ms Burgler said she was pleased to have taken out another Bentley.
“I’m thrilled, of course,” she said.
“It’s a huge honour.”
Open art prize judge, and former Bentley winner, David Mackay Harrison, said while it was a close call between Ms Burgler and Lismore artist Kim McLean, who received the highly commended award, in the end Ms Burgler’s technique won the day.
“Joanna is streets ahead as far as a painting of technical expertise goes,” he said.
“It’s picking apart what we see in everyday life, but magnifying it to the point where it’s riveting in that we’re looking at tangled nets, ropes and chains that she’s made into a decorative painting.
“It’s still an abstract look atnature, but it’s spot on technically.”
The abstract influence noted by Mr Harrison was also cited by Ms Burgler in her painting, who mentioned the work of abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock, and his famous Blue Poles.
“It’s a realistic version of Blue Poles,” Ms Burgler said.
She will host an exhibition in Sydney from September 14.
More than 600 entries were submitted for this year’s Bentley Art Prize.
Artists from as far north as the Sunshine Coast, and south to Bathurst took part in the event.
The Bentley art works can be viewed between 9am and 5pm today, and until 3pm tomorrow.