By CQUni Art Collection Manager Sue Smith
As an artist and art curator, I’ve seen and worked on a variety of artworks and love the fact that art gives us an avenue to be creative and express our emotions and ideas about how and where we live now.
Since the inaugural CQU Creates competition six years ago, I’ve enjoyed the diverse artworks that people enter: everything from paintings and drawings to photography, original prints, small sculptures, jewellery and digital short films or music videos.
It’s always a very enjoyable event that brings people together. The community loves the exhibitions and visitors always comment on how great it is to see such a variety of artworks by both experienced and emerging artists.
As well as receiving works from exhibiting artists, in recent years we’ve also had art by teachers and students in the visual arts and multimedia, and as well from people who work or study in different areas but have an interest in art including educators, administrators, engineers, scientists, health professionals and IT specialists.
Over the years we’ve had some fascinating landscapes and seascapes, portraits of friends and family, animal and bird subjects, still lifes and abstract and conceptual works offering a fresh view on all kinds of issues, such as personal growth and identity, belonging, cultural traditions, environmental themes, and political and social commentary.
Here’s a snapshot of our past winners.
Coowonga artist Peta Lloyd, who completed her Diploma of Visual Arts at CQ TAFE in 2007, won the inaugural 2014 CQU Creates Award with a complex and poetic assemblage work celebrating nature, Tree, bird, book, which comprised found objects (including an egg shell and feathers), printing, sewing and texts.
In 2015 Lisa Gaze, who has been teaching jewellery at CQ TAFE and CQUni for more than 20 years, won with a stunning entry, Dandelion delights, comprising a ‘dandelion’ brooch (silver, nickel, gold, mother of pearl button) and a ‘bee’ pin (silver, nickel and gold) which were set against a drawing of dandelions executed in the Old Masters technique of silverpoint – involving making marks with a fine silver wire on a prepared (gouache) surface, which leaves a metallic residue at first silvery, but which oxidises to a brown colour. Lisa’s remarkable work functioned as both wall art and wearable pieces of jewellery. The judges commended the innovation, versatility and impeccable craftsmanship of the work.
The 2015 student award winner was Mariia Kalinina, an international student from Russia at CQUni Melbourne, who created a bold and colourful drawing, Sunset in Melbourne.
Peta Lloyd also won again in 2016, with another inventive assemblage work Crossing boundaries, comprising image panels attached to posts like a fence and topped with actual barbed wire, which was a socio-political comment on the failed council amalgamation of Rockhampton City and Livingstone Shire.
The Student Award winner in 2016 was Elisha Habermann, a visual arts student at Rockhampton City Campus, with an accomplished portrait drawing of her daughter, Courtney, the swallow’s nest.
In 2017, past student Susan Head won with an appealing and technically adept colour linocut print depicting corals, fish, jelly fish and shells. Susan specialises in printmaking and lives a Zilzie which gives her inspiration for coastal themes.
Rockhampton artist and student, Kate Oates, won the 2017 Indigenous Art Award with her enigmatic painting, Tipping the scales which layered social commentary and narrative and technical skill.
Veronika Zeil, a past student, won a special CQU 2017 Anniversary Award with a painting Milestones at home campus which presented a montage of images of Rockhampton Campus landmarks and building.
In 2018, a past student, Erin Dunn, won the main Award with an ink and charcoal portrait of her partner Paige, which she stated ‘gently asserts our presence as LGBTQI+ people living, working and flourishing in central Queensland’.
Bundaberg artist, Llewellyn Swallow, took out the 2018 Indigenous Art Award with a work titled Salute to Gai-I depicting the travel lines of Indigenous clans and dancing of the corroboree when peoples from many different clans once came together at traditional ceremonial grounds, called Gai-I, between the mountains of Baga and Gai-i.
The CQU Creates 2018 Student Award ($500) was won by a current student and staff member at the CQUniversity Mackay City Campus, Glenda Hobdell. Her winning drawing, in mixed media on kraft paper, entitled Connexion: time and tide depicts the ‘forever changing’ everyday experience of tidal forces on river, ocean and foreshore at Mackay.
To find out more about CQU Creates or to enter the 2019 competition go to: www.cqu.edu.au/cqucreates.