Port Lincoln artist earns second art prize

Winners from the more than 100 entries in the 2022 Bendigo Community Bank Port Lincoln Art Prize were announced on Thursday, with a local artist earning her second top prize for her unique landscape piece.

About 110 entries were received for this year's Art Prize, however due to COVID-19 there was no opening night and public awards presentation.

Winners were announced in a private presentation in the Nautilus Arts Centre on Thursday with Port Lincoln artist Elizabeth Hammond announced as the winner of the $8500 prize for her oil painting 'Every District Has One'.

This is her second Art Prize win, following her 2018 win for her self-portrait titled 'This Continuous Life'.

Instead of a portrait Ms Hammond's latest award winning entry was inspired from her trips across the state, in particular the Mid North in 2021.

Ms Hammond said she had been painting since joining the Port Lincoln Art Group about seven years ago and had learned a lot over that time from the internet and workshops to build her skills.

She said liked doing portraiture but had also enjoyed landscapes and had done a bit of plein air painting outdoors and this entry was the combination of a lot of painting outside from her memory and imagination.

"I think we use memory a lot in art, so I used that and really it's a comment on our country towns and our rural landscapes, which is so important in every community," she said.

"I was really very surprised (to win) but absolutely delighted and I'm looking forward to being able to use some of the proceeds of the prize to further my development and my knowledge."

Ms Hammond said the Port Lincoln Art Group had been a major influence in her development in the past few years.

Erin Davidson from the Art Gallery of South Australia was the judge for this year's Art Prize and said she was honoured to return to Port Lincoln and to see so many great entries.

On the winning entry, she said "as soon as I walked in it drew me in, it gave me an energy which speaks to traditional landscapes but also is very contemporary."

"I identify with iconic landmarks that are familiar to regional South Australia but also you could be anywhere in Australia and (the painting) has this beautiful sense of connecting the past and present."

Bendigo Communtiy Bank Port Lincoln business development manager David Stoeckel said this event was recognised as a key art prize and exhibition by many great SA artists, and the bank was proud to help make it happen.

"We have supported the growth of the Art Prize through both major prize funding and development of the virtual gallery enabling people to access the gallery and tour the exhibition any time, anywhere," he said.

Other winners included Grace Ramsay who won the RetireAustralia Local Artist Award for her entry 'Lenny', which is a portrait of her pet whippet of the same name.

Ms Ramsay said this was her first award from the Art Prize and was "super stoked" to have won the $1000 prize.

On her subject she said she had done a lot of paintings of dogs as she was around them all the time in her job.

Lincoln Grove Retirement Village community engagement officer Janet Grocke, representing award sponsor RetireAustralia, said the organisation was keen to acknowledge the talent of the large local art community.

"There is a strong link between art and mental wellbeing with several art programs being run in a number of the 28 retirement communities owned by RetireAustralia," she said.

First time entrant Greg Sleep was named the Best Sculpture winner for his aptly named 'Olive Oil Jug', earning a prize package valued at $200 from award sponsors Lincoln Estate Wines and Glen Forest Tourist Park.

Mr Sleep said he had been coppersmithing since he retired four years ago and his creation, the olive oil jug, came together nicely which prompted him to enter, needless to say the win was unexpected.

"As I was making it, it was coming together nicely and I could see good lines in it and could see it was an elegant piece of work, and wanted to show it off," he said.

"I'm really surprised and pleased...I did not expect it to win a prize."

The other two winners were Mia Speed who won the $500 Rotary Club of Port Lincoln Youth Award for her entry 'Interconnectedness' and Bridie Newman will receive the $250 Port Lincoln Art Council Highly Commended prize for 'Chaotic Minds'.

There is one more prize to give, the Jane Hutchinson People's Choice, sponsored by Port Lincoln Art Group which will involve people voting for their favourite artwork to win the $500 prize.

Voting is open until February 25 and people can do so by visiting the Nautilus Arts Centre where all works are now on display.

Port Lincoln Art Prize major award winners

2008: Verna Lawrie, 'Jelly Fishes in the Deep Blue Sea'

2009: Mark Warren, 'Banksia'

2010: Allyson Parsons, 'Wild Sands'

2011: Julie Corfe, 'Birds of Paradise - Narnie Julie with Jonathon'

2012: Marek Herburt, 'Gum Tree at Edeowie'

2013: Julie Corfe, 'Michael Bidstrup - The Heart of the Matter'

2014: Susan Tingay, 'Watermarks'

2015: Neil Hann, 'A Walk in the Park'

2016: Marek Herburt, 'Bush'

2017: Sarah Stevens, 'Hidden Valley'

2018: Elizabeth Hammond, 'This Continuous Life'

2019: Emma Fuss, 'Sally'

2020: Susan Tingay, 'Mallees at Coffin Bay'

2021: Olivia White, 'Tossed Guilt Salad'

2022: Elizabeth Hammond, 'Every District Has One'

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