The people have spoken in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2017 People’s Choice Award
  • Monday 23 October 2017
sunshine coast art prize, victoria watts, peoples choice

From more than 800 votes, a beautiful work that illuminates the natural serenity and rawness of the bush landscape has won the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2017 People’s Choice Award.

The work titled Mt Buangor #9, by Melbourne-based artist Victoria Watts, received the most public votes to take out the $2500 People’s Choice Award sponsored by Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.

Arts Portfolio Cr Rick Baberowski said while the voting was quite close this year, it's not surprising why Mt Buangor #9 was the extremely deserving winner.

“Besides remarkably good technique, the subject has an intriguing mix of beauty and possible loss which draws you in to be further captivated by the play of light and depth the artist has created amongst the trees,” Cr Baberowski said.

“This is the first time Victoria Watts has been a finalist in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize so I congratulate her on being the people’s favourite and winning this award.”

Victoria first studied design and made furniture before taking up painting in 1998. She has exhibited regularly in solo and group exhibitions since that time.

Victoria was thrilled to win the award, her first in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

“How fantastic - it is lovely to win a People’s Choice Award,” she said.  

“With Mt Buangor #9 I think it would have been simply that people responded to the image - hopefully the depiction of dappled light.” 

In her artist statement for Mt Buangor #9, Victoria said: “The bush is its own world.

“Beneath the canopy of forest leaves, thick trunks springing upwards, create a maze of vertical lines.

“The lushness of the landscape is contrasted almost immediately, stumbling upon a patch of burnt bark and scorched earth.

“Light seems to work differently under the canopy, there’s no rush to illuminate, instead beams wonder through the leaves, aimlessly falling on the trees and across the undergrowth in pools.”

For more details about the Sunshine Coast Art Prize visit council’s gallery website.

Image credit: Victoria Watts, Mt Buangor #9, 2016, acrylic on linen, 92 x 122cm. Victoria Watts is represented by Metro Gallery, Melbourne.