Magic in the ordinary claims top EMSLA prize
TOGETHER, a personal statement by artist Emily Ferretti about companionship, partnership and devotion, is the winner of Coffs Harbour's 2014 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award.
"It depicts the bedroom that I have shared with my partner for 10 years, combined with imaginary objects and abstracted elements" the artist said.
"It was inspired by folk art from the early 20th century, specifically still-life imagery of everyday life."
That most personal of rooms was also the inspiration for the regional winner, Glenreagh-based painter Terri Butterworth.
Ms Butterworth said her painting, The Morning Room, "can be any room flooded with the yellow light of early morning optimism. Shapes change as the light moves across the bedcover and tossed fabrics. The viewer brings their own interpretation. For me it is a reminder that all is in flux."
EMSLA benefactor Mal Eutick was in the crowd of 200 who packed into Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery for the opening of the EMSLA exhibition on Friday, which will be on display from Tuesday to Saturday until January 10.
Dr Eutick was serenaded with an aria by "the spirit of still life" Sally Anne Russell.
The EMSLA is an acquisitive prize so Together will become part of Coffs Harbour City Council's art collection.
Terri Butterworth received the $2000 Mike Blewitt Coffs Coast regional prize.
The finalists and winners were selected by principal judge John McDonald, who has been involved with the EMSLA since its inception, helped this year by the directors of the Grafton Art Gallery and the New England Regional Art Museum.
Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery assistant curator Deb Wall said the exhibition opening was the start of a successful weekend.
Ms Wall said every event organised as part of EMSLA's weekend festival of culture, which showcased local talent mingled with visiting stars, was booked out.
View more on the gallery section of the Coffs Harbour City Council website.