Cossack’s walls alive with colour for 2018 awards
Bats flying among the roof structure of Cossack’s historic bond store, stone walls lined with a mosaic of colour, and a room filled with hearty applause for some truly remarkable works of art.
A serene stillness descended over the Pilbara ghost town for the 2018 Cossack Art Awards presentations, setting the perfect scene for what is dubbed Australia’s most unique art exhibition.
Some 300 artworks from across Australia have been put on display for the annual exhibition, running until August 12.
Perth artist Evoline Kotai was the big winner, taking home the $15,000 overall winner’s prize for her work, Horizontal Shift.
Judges described Kotai’s piece as “a pull between abstraction and landscape”.
Kotai said there was little planning behind her art, preferring her work to evolve naturally.
“My artwork is difficult to describe,” she said.
“I actually cut up my paintings and stitched them with invisible thread.
“It is almost like a collage of all my different art.”
One of the more surprised winners on the night was Roebourne’s Jessica Wilson, who won emerging young artist as a first-time entrant.
“My brother (Clinton Walker) ... took an aerial shot of the country about five years ago and I fell in love with it and told him I was going to paint it one day,” she said.
“(Ellery Sandy) has been my mentor through painting.
“Being my first time, I needed some pointers.
“It is very important for the younger ones who are up-and-coming, very important while we have our elders here to teach us all their knowledge on artwork.”
Judges described Wilson’s art as balanced with outstanding use of colour and a beautiful use of composition. City of Karratha Deputy Mayor Grant Cucel said the awards were the jewel in the crown of the City’s events calendar.
“Our 2018 exhibition and program of complementary events is once again outstanding, embracing the incredible local arts scene we are lucky enough to have here in the Pilbara and providing a national platform for our most talented artists,” he said.
“The winning pieces announced tonight are simply spectacular, a more than fair representation of the quality of the Cossack Art Awards and the weight this arts prize holds at a national level.”
The people’s choice award and artist in residency prizes are yet to be announced.
2018 Cossack Art Award winners
Best overall: Eveline Kotai
Artwork by Pilbara artist: Wendy Darby
Young artist: Jessica Wilson
Painting by Pilbara indigenous artist: Melissa Sandy
Works on paper: Kelli Dawson
Painting open theme: Gregory Tothill
Painting Pilbara landscape: Kathy Samson
Portraits: William Nyaparu Gardiner
Invited artist: Laurie Nona
North West flora and fauna: Coral Blasgund
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