Burra artist claims first prize

A GRAPHITE drawing of the Queanbeyan Kurrajong pod has taken out the top spot in the fifth Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award.

The intricate and detailed image titled "Pods in Space - The Queanbeyan Kurrajong" was sketched by Burra artist Sharon Field who specialises in botanical art.

Ms Field said she was surprised she had won because of the calibre of the other works submitted but was thrilled with the accolade.

The works ranged from sculptures to Indigenous art and from photography to acrylic on canvas.

The award was judged by Beaver Galleries directors Martin and Susie Beaver.

"We walked around the room and thought about the works that drew us back," Mr Beaver said. "Technically this work is beautiful; and it's a small work but you don't have to be big to yell."

This is the first year the competition has been open to residents living in surrounding council areas including Cooma-Monaro, Yass and Palerang councils. 

Ms Field said she entered the competition because she felt it was important to contribute and support local council initiatives.

Ms Field left the public service four years ago to work as a full-time artist concentrating on watercolour and graphite works at her home studio. 

She chose to enter her drawing of the pod from the native tree because of the local connection but also because it is one of her favourite plants.

"The pods are quite different. They're almost like mini-sculptures, there are some interesting shadows and shapes," she said.

"I love the beautiful Kurrajong trees and there's a lovely one on the corner where the NAB bank is located; they're a favourite tree of mine, they're a nice shaped tree and tough, they can withstand cold and extremely hot weather."

Ms Field said she draws inspiration from plants because of their detailed structures and beautiful colours.

"With botanical art you have to stop and look carefully otherwise you miss the details," she explained. "I spend some time on each of my works so it is quite lovely to have people appreciate and enjoy it. It's a long process so you get a degree of satisfaction when you are finished. This art work took a couple of weeks to complete."

Ms Field has walked away with $2000 in prize money which she said she might put towards purchasing a microscope to get an even closer view of her subject matter.

There were more than 30 works submitted in the fifth Queanbeyan City Council Regional Art Award. The award aims to nurture and encourage local artists.

The exhibition will remain open at The Q until August 24 and residents are encouraged to visit the exhibition and vote on the People's Choice award.

The exhibition space is open Monday-Friday 10am-4pm and Saturday 10am-3pm.


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