Sunshine Coast Art Prize winners enter hall of fame
  • Thursday 23 September 2021
Marian Tubbs, The Farm

The winner of this year’s Sunshine Coast Art Prize and recipient of the $25,000 major prize is Marian Tubbs, with her artwork The farm.

Tubbs will now stake her claim in the region’s art history with her winning artwork being acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection—an impressive assembly of more than 700 works.

Sunshine Coast Art Prize judge Renai Grace said Tubbs was recognised at a national and international level and had strong personal connections to the Sunshine Coast region.

“Marian Tubb’s award-winning artwork, The farm was a standout!,” Ms Grace said.

“Her use of a constructed image that has been manipulated, challenges perceptions of value and truth as well as raises ecological issues.”

Speaking about her own work, Marian Tubbs said the piece was as much about ‘photography’ as a medium of seduction, truth, and falsehoods as it was about the subject captured. 

“The scale and view into the image welcomes a viewer into the midst of a contemporary kelp farm that is simultaneously lush, solarised, and pixelated,” Ms Tubbs said.

“‘The farm’ interrogates relationships between medium and subject while conceptually setting sights on creating visible ecological narratives.

“I am thrilled that this new work has been acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection by way of this award. The work, The farm represents my practice as it is right now and has been a catalyst for a new body of work underway that will be shown in 2022.

“I am proud to have a significant family connection to South East Aboriginal Australia. and I dedicate this win to my late Nanna Joan Marian Foley, who called this place home for the better part of 99 years.”

Sunshine Coast Community Portfolio Councillor Rick Baberowski said each year he very much looked forward to seeing the scope of works and the variety of new material presented.

“The artworks are an important historical representation of the year they were created. They provide a unique lens on Australian life depicted by leading contemporary 2D artists,” Cr Baberowski said.

“I encourage anyone who hasn’t enjoyed the inspiring experience provided by the 40 finalist artworks on show, to throw themselves a challenge and head along to the gallery.”

The exhibition is on show until October 10 at Caloundra Regional Gallery and admission is free. 

Caloundra Regional Gallery Curator and Manager Jo Duke said one of the most coveted categories was the People’s Choice Prize.

“The winner in this category was Sunshine Coast finalist Amanda Shadforth for Between A Rock and A Hard Place 2,” Ms Duke said.

The oil on canvas work drew the majority of visitor votes throughout the exhibition. It is totally understandable given the loveliness of this work.

“Playing on the idea of the traditional still life, Amanda has created a push and pull of the visual, a pun on the soft and solid, the constructed and the natural, all beautifully painted’.”

A quilt tapestry crafted from a single roll of Sorbent toilet paper took out the Highly Commended prize and has been a talking point throughout the exhibition.

Renai Grace said Karike Ashworth spent 11 months at the start of the pandemic, laboriously hand sewing a patchwork made of sheets from a single roll of toilet paper.

“These precarious times are captured through the intricacy, fragility and humour reflected within this highly commended work,” Ms Grace said.

Karike explained as she learnt to handle the fragile toilet paper sheets, she got better at doing so, and interpreted this as the object becoming more robust. However, the material was, is and remains equally as fragile as it was when she started.

I am just absolutely thrilled to receive this award. Thank you to the judge, Renai Grace, for your faith in the work and my practice. Thank you to Caloundra Regional Gallery for taking on Always soft, Always strong.

“It is not an easy work to handle and hang, and I am just so grateful that you were brave enough to do it. Thank you to the De Deyne Family for sponsoring this prize,” Ms Ashworth said.

The Residency prize was awarded to Brian Robinson for his linocut print Fisherman’s Still Life with Air Jordan 4s. The work recalls his childhood memories, growing up in Torres Strait, a fisherman’s paradise teeming with a multitude of marine life.

“The daily fishing ritual for the Drummond family of Hargrave Street, was the trip to nearby wharves, reef outcrops and mudflats in search of seafood,” Mr Robinson said.

“After a couple of hours, which was usually adequate time to fill the bottom of the boat with reef fish of all sorts and sizes, we would begin the journey back home to Waiben.

“Stretching down the left side of the house, tied between two large trees was an inch-thick anchor rope where the cast nets and drag nets and old glass flotation buoys were slung for storage and repairs.

“This rope also acted as a sandal and shoe rack - sometimes used for drying wet footwear and other times for storage because shoes weren’t permitted in the house.”

Renai Grace said the artist in residency will provide Brian, who lives in Cairns, with a wonderful opportunity to explore the Sunshine Coast region and share his approach to art making with the local community.

The Sunshine Coast Art Prize winners:

  • Marian Tubbs - Major acquisitive prize winner
    $25,000 cash prize sponsored by Argon Law Sunshine Coast and Sunshine Coast Council.
  • Karike Ashworth - Highly Commended prize winner
    $5000 sponsored by the De Deyne Family.
  • Amanda Shadforth: People’s Choice prize winner
    $2500 sponsored by Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.
  • Brian Robinson - Sunshine Coast Art Prize Residency award recipient
    sponsored by Montville Country Cabins.

Sunshine Coast Art Prize is supported by Coastline BMW and International Art Services (IAS) and is presented as part of Horizon Festival.