Open category winners


Kevin Paul

Life in Isolation

photograph, Samsung Galaxy S10

The image captures the reality of life in isolation after the novelty has worn off. TV is boring and the kids just want to go outside to play with their friends.

Judge's comments:

The stillness of this work creates a palpable sense of being locked away.


Kathrin Longhurst

Backyard Dreaming

oil on canvas

As the world grapples with the enormous challenges of a global pandemic, we find ourselves confined to our own homes and backyards. How precious to just lie in the grass looking up at the sky - savouring the moment, appreciating the little things that make us happy and dreaming up a better future.

Judge's comments:

This detailed aerial portrait, with skilful play of light and shade, encourages us to savour the simple moments – to lie on the grass in the backyard and look up at the sky.


Greg Cole

Manly Cemetery: Still Open for Business

photograph, DJI MAVIC AIR-2 Drone. 48MPS. 24-mm lens from about 85 metres altitude.

There's something like 2000 burial sites in this photo alone. The idea that a cemetery, which received the dead from the 1870s through the Smallpox, Bubonic Plague and Spanish Flu epidemics, is still open for business is something I found fascinating. I took the photo, wondering if Covid-19 would see a demand for spaces of which there are still plenty, it seems.

Judge's comments:

This is an intriguing photograph as the aerial view of the cemetery and history of its occupation introduces a distinctly novel perspective. The formal grid of the individual sites, punctuated by vacant areas of grass, creates an impersonal distance contrasting the random nature of epidemics with the intensely personal nature of cemeteries.


Michelle Perrett

Memento mori

hand-made porcelain ceramic Waratah, still life objects and prawns.

Using porcelain, I make handmade sculptures of Waratahs, orchids, and smaller native flowers employing pattern to represent earthly time. I research ancient plants, and the sanctuary National Parks and reserves offer the community. This still-life diorama symbolizes imposed rest, the slowing of time, of thought, and community movement in 2020.

Judge's comments:

An artful still life incorporating sculpture, found objects and photography that fuses native Australian flora with the Vanitas tradition, asking us to contemplate the mortality of our precious natural environment.


Geoffrey Harvey

In my Own Bubble - Working from Home

photography, using a large reflective sphere which depicts my inner world at home. Birds animals are all made from found objects.

I feel I am in my own bubble when I work on my found object sculpture. I enter a private world where conventional logic is put aside and where broken furniture can take flight, becoming a migrational bird; a world I love.

Judge's comments:

A nice concept, a beautiful bubble and a sensitive solution.


Chris Atichian

Uncertain Future

hand carved Calacatta marble, 300 x 300mm

The work represents discarded, crumpled paper. From marble to paper, like reverse alchemy. An attempt to capture the moment of calm following destruction. A metaphor for the current state of the Paris Climate Agreement, and an outlook on global warming and our inability to act decisively on climate change. Made during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Judge's comments:

The ephemeral medium of paper skilfully rendered with the enduring materiality of marble – a metaphor for the precariousness of our current moment. Will we crumple like paper or stand firm as stone against anthropogenic crises such as climate change?


Chris Langlois

Sea 4

oil on linen

Painting of the ocean during the recent storms looking from Warriewood Beach looking at Turimetta Headland. Postcard from home.

Judge's comments:

An evocative ‘postcard from home’, capturing the ocean as a fount of untamed energy. The soft hues and hazy forms suggest a receding memory, vision or dream.


Debbie Mackinnon

Homemade Soup

collage with hand painted papers, ink, gouache and oil pastel

Staying at home meant lots more time in the kitchen - no eating out! So, I started drawing what I was cooking each day. The kitchen was a creative space for distraction as well as making delicious home-made soup. This one is a green soup - leek, zucchini and peas with garlic and lemon. I enjoyed the immediacy of drawing then cooking and finally eating my soup.

Judge's comments:

Homemade Soup manages to infuse the routine act of cooking with an invigorating freshness, reflecting the indominable spirit of creativity and the positive happenstance that can sometimes be found in adversity.


Mike Nikotin

Surf Isolation

Prismacolour pencils, acrylic wash on ply

I feel most at home in the sea. I've tried to capture that feeling of peace and tranquility with this artwork. It is inspired by the recent government restrictions courtesy of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Judge's comments:

A very poetic drawing that wonderfully captures that stillness before the action of the wave.


Julia Davis and Lisa Jones

Thresholds: a chorus 2 (Middle Head, Sydney)

sediment (Middle Head, Sydney) on clayboard

Julia Davis and Lisa Jones’ collaborative project, Thresholds: a chorus, reinterprets subterranean landscapes through drawings suspending the rhythms of nature and human action.

The medium for these on-site drawings is sourced from accretionary-site-residue and used to impregnate the paper substrate to conjure a literal response from the landscape.

Judge's comments:

Covid-19 has meant that we are negotiating much of the world through the detached and impersonal medium of technology. Threshold offers a richly detailed and unmediated experience of the materiality of our world, emphasising the vital role of sensory experiences and the urgency of the preservation of our natural environment.