Opening of the 25th Anniversary Exhibition

2021 has been a year to challenge us all but many of the lucky ones, the artists, have found some degree of comfort in their painting, to relieve the distresses and worries brought about by constant lockdowns all over Australia.

Adding to the stress for the ASMA Committee was the problem that arose when they considered how to re-stage its 25th Anniversary Exhibition as they were unable to hold their live exhibition at the NSW RAS, as planned earlier in the year. Covid 19 had struck again!  The Committee moved to considering the option of an on-line exhibition. Having successfully held their monthly general meetings via Zoom, for the past year or so, this made it seemed possible.

Once the merits of the various on-line galleries were discussed one was selected and the decision made to go full steam ahead. No one really knew how our members would accept the idea but, luckily, it was adopted with a great response as shown in the eventual exhibition. I hope you have had a chance to look at the wonderful work of our members and enjoyed the many and varied works on display.

For judge Ian Hansen FASMA, it was an even greater task as his job was to select the eventual winners in the different categories. A task that would have been considerably challenging but Ian said it’s one he enjoyed when he presented the winners to the on-line audience, at the opening of the Exhibition.

Ian briefly qualified his decisions by telling us of the challenges of judging from small photographs where it was not always possible to see the intimate details of the brush-work. He felt however that his selection was, under the circumstances, well considered but with the added difficulty of selecting from the high standard of entries.

Congratulations to the following artists and their awards for the 2021 ASMA 25th Anniversary Exhibition.

Best in Show – John Perkins FASMA, Fishing Fleet Eden

John PERKINS, Fishing Fleet, Eden

Ian first comment was, “I could smell the fish and hear the gulls”. A beautiful work showing the use of dramatic lighting and deep tones and colour palate. As Ian said, “It just did it for him!”

1st Place Contemporary – Jeff Rigby FASMA, The Coral Sea, approaching Bull’s Head Bay

Jeff RIGBY, The Coral Sea, approaching Bull’s Head Bay

A painting that shows the soft breeze across the tranquil waters of the harbour making the light glow as four tugs work hard to slow down this massive ship as it enters the bay.

1st Place Oil/Acrylic – John Ford FASMA OAM – Nordhaven, Copenhagen

John FORD, Nordhaven, Copenhagen

A standout painting, beautifully executed. I just wanted to jump in that water!

1st Place Traditional – Ron Stannard FASMA – The Duyfken Sailing on Sydney Harbour

Ron STANNARD, The Duyfken Sailing on Sydney Harbour

This is a confidently considered work masterfully painted. As Ian said, “It is a ship that sails remarkably well and remarkably easy to handle”. 

1st Place Watercolour – Julian Bruere FASMA, The Battle off Cape Trafalgar, 1805

Julian BRUERE, The Battle off Cape Trafalgar, 1805

An exquisite and detailed interpretation of a most famous event. The deep shadow in the foreground lifting the eye to most important ship in the fleet.

Highly Commended Contemporary – Karen Bloomfield, Ship ‘n’ Steel

Karen BLOOMFIELD, Ship ‘n’ Steel

Powerful colours with a strong composition. Ian remarked, “It works so well not because of what the artist painted but because of what she left out!”

Highly Commended Oil/Acrylic – Suzy King, Blackwattle Bay, as you were

Suzy KING, Blackwattle Bay, as your were

A calm morning where once the rowers and a variety of craft serviced the bay. A nostalgic memory of what has been lost from the harbour. Beautifully painted and bold composition.

Highly Commended Watercolour – Cheryl Bruce, The Strings that Bind Us

Cheryl BRUCE, The Strings that Bind Us

As Ian said, “It is a deceivingly simple painting that simply works”.