Winners named of social inclusion art exhibition

Last modified on 20 January 2023

Highly Commended artist Jonathan David Smit with Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor.JPG

Four winners have been selected from more than 50 entries to a northern Sydney art exhibition, which is set aside for people who are living with disability, experiencing social isolation or at risk of marginalisation.

During December 2022, Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor announced the winners of the Council’s Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate art exhibition at the Doughtery Community Centre at Chatswood.

Now in its fourth year, the exhibition is a platform for artists of all abilities to promote themselves and expand their creative talent. This year’s exhibition attracted 56 entries from all over Northern Sydney.

“This exhibition has an important role fostering social inclusion and empowering community members, as well as simply promoting the amazing talent and creativity of these artists,” said Mayor Taylor.

The exhibition is a key part of the Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2022-26.

This plan was adopted in August 2022 and sets out practical ways the Council enables people with disability to fully participate in the Willoughby community as well as have access to meaningful employment opportunities.

With her entry, Flitter Flutter (63.5 x 83 cm, Acrylic on Paper), Alison Hall won the top prize with her colourful depiction of a beautiful bird in flight. She was inspired by the movements of the birds she sees in the garden.

As the winning artist, Alison was given a $500 pre-paid voucher and has been offered the opportunity to hold a solo artwork exhibition at the Dougherty Centre.

“I like birds and colour,” Alison said. “I see lots of birds when I go to Blue Apple (art studios). I also like to watch them from my window at home.”

Alison has been creating art for many years including painting, drawing, paper pulp and ceramics.

Three artists were Highly Commended and therefore received a $100 voucher. These artists are:

  • Jonathan David Smit for Textures in Colour (70 x 74 cm, Soluble Wax Pencils)
  • Virginia Redenbach for Art Connects us to the World (52 x 73 cm, Acrylic on Paper)
  • Bridget Kelly for Coasting (A3, Posca on Wood).

The competition was judged by renowned Australian artist, Louise Allerton. Born and raised in Sydney, Louise spent two decades living and painting in a remote Indigenous community in the Northern Territory.

“I was very honoured to judge this year’s competition,” Ms Allerton said.

“The first thing I noticed was the explosion of colour right across the show, which clearly expressed a celebratory feel.

“There was a lot of beautiful abstract artworks based around expressive use of colour and spontaneity but also many detailed compositions that were fascinating and immersive.”

Over her career, Louise has been a finalist in numerous Australian art awards, including the National Photographic Portraiture Prize, Ulrick Schubert Award, the Olive Cotton and Head On Photo awards.

The 2022 Connect, Collaborate, Celebrate competition opened in August, and called on artists to submit their pieces for exhibition before the end of October. The competition was open to all visual creative work including drawings, graphic art or paintings no larger than 100cm x 100cm.

All entrants received a certificate from Mayor Taylor in recognition of their amazing work.

Caption: Highly Commended artist Jonathan David Smit with Willoughby Mayor Tanya Taylor


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