Cossack’s walls alive with colour for 2018 awards

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Tom ZaunmayrPilbara News
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VideoEveline Kotai has been crowned the overall winner of the 2018 Cossack Art 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.

Eveline Kotai infront of her award-winning work at the Cossack Art Awards.
Camera IconEveline Kotai infront of her award-winning work at the Cossack Art Awards. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

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.”

Roebourne artist Jessica Wilson.
Camera IconRoebourne artist Jessica Wilson. Credit: Tom Zaunmayr.

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.”

William Nyaparu Gardiner
Camera IconWilliam Nyaparu Gardiner Credit: Pilbara News

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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