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Winners 2019 Open Winter Exhibition
Back row L to R: Winners: Angelika Sassenberg, Thierry Ollivain, Richard Grammer, Tony Simone
Front row L to R: Judge Len Metcalf and winners:  Natasha Daniloff, Helen Hudson

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Prizegiving photos by Tony SImone


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Thierry Ollivain:  Fool's Gold   Photograph

First Prize:  Fool’s Gold

Artist: Thierry Ollivain

Medium:  Photography

Judge’s comments:

Three doorways offer the viewer a choice of paths forward, each glowing with an enticing warmth. This beautiful photograph captures my imagination and entices me forward in an impossible choice.  The geometric shapes are balanced harmoniously around the column, referencing ancient times, within an almost brutalist architectural building filled with stark purpose and efficiency. A photograph that references modern paintings.



Richard Grammer:  Night Chase   Acrylic, Ink

Second Prize:  Night Chase

Artist:  Richard Grammer

Medium: Acrylic, Ink

Judge’s comments:

This painting captures how I feel on some days. Driving alone, headlights only illuminating part of the pathway ahead. Surrounded by a murky devoid life, yet a few stars giving me hope for what may be ahead.  Full of emotion, yet carefully constructed and painted with a lyrical freedom.  This is a gorgeous painting that really captures my heart.



Peter Burger:  Landscape   Acrylic

Highly Commended and People’s Choice:  Landscape

Artist:  Peter Burger

Medium:  Acrylic

Judge’s comments: 

A dry Australian continent stricken by drought yet lyrical in delicate browns and sombre greens. The dry water-starved grasses leading up through the trees to the escarpment above.  Balanced, and painted with strength and determination, this painting reveals the subtlety of the Australian bush.


Natasha Daniloff:  Narrow Neck   Oil

Highly Commended:  Narrow Neck

Artist:  Natasha Daniloff

Medium:  Oil

Judge’s comments: 

Oh my home, the escarpments of the Blue Mountains, often shrouded in rain, mist and dark light.  Blue light always gets through, and is reflected in the orange sandstone. This composition has beautiful depth and brings me back to Blackheath with such strong memories of living here. The warmth of the rocks leaps forward and captures my memories of rock climbing, while the blues take me further away and give form to the cliffs.  It is noted by my dear friend Mike Law, an infamous rock climber, that artists rarely understand the form of the cliffs which are our playgrounds, but here is a truly beautiful rendition of my mountain cliffs. 



Maurice Franco:  It's All Over   Acrylic

Highly Commended:  It’s All Over

Artist: Maurice Franco

Medium:  Acrylic

Judge’s comments:  

Beautifully balanced within a sombre pallet of white. A snowstorm perhaps, brain fog, or just a beautiful composition of paint and colour? The marbling is beautifully crafted and controlled, keeping my eyes fixated.  A painting I would enjoy looking at for a long period of time.  One that allows me to meditate and be lost in my own thoughts. A gentle classical piece of music plays in my mind as I relax in its soothing beauty.


Tony Simone:  Misty Individual  Photograph

Highly Commended:  Misty Individual

Artist: Tony SImone

Medium:  Photography

Judge’s comments:  

The trees in the mist is my personal favourite subject, and how could I not love this beautiful photograph of Mountain Ash in the mist.  Perhaps it is after a fire, and we can see the forest regenerating. We are so lucky in the Mountains that our fires rejuvenate the bush, other forests in the world die and never return, like the ones in Tasmania.  I am particularly drawn to the dancing tree that offers a squiggling juxtaposition to the straight trees that surround her. I love balance in art, one that keeps me looking over time.  This photograph has a gorgeous sense of balance and depth.  I could feel myself walking through it. A quick glance out the window in disappointment that the mist has lifted and I am not able to partake in my own walk in the mist.



Ulla Heckel:  The Ignorant Storm   Oil

Commended:   The Ignorant Storm

Artist:  Ulla Heckel

Medium: Oil

Judge’s comments: 

Rich in colour and bold strokes this painting really intrigues me. Distant views of the mountains perhaps? Dead trees in the foreground? Is it a landscape? Or is it a celebration of colour?  A colour field painting perhaps.  Does it matter what it is?  How does it make you feel? Alive, full of life and happy.  The colour pallet gives me optimism, hope, and strength.  A painting that will intrigue me as I continue to try to figure out why I love it so. 



Helen Hudson:  Beauty in the Bushland   Acrylic

Commended:  Beauty in the Bushland

Artist: Helen Hudson

Medium: Acrylic

Judge’s comments: 

The Waratahs around us dance in gorgeous reds on just the right slopes, and sprinkle the bush with an unusual visual delight.  These few bushes of flowers really capture my own memories of them here in Blackheath.  In a composition that references a modern visual language that is subtle and gentle. I love seeing the brush strokes that keep me faithfully in touch with the artist. 



Sue Ingram:  A Place of Plenty   Oil

Commended: A Place of Plenty

Artist:  Sue Ingram

Medium:  Oil

Judge’s comments: 

Strong strokes of paint capture my attention.  Yet, I find them unsolvable. Random perhaps, or a definite defiance against the viewers expectations.  Behind these bold strokes lies a gorgeous view in the valley below, the Megalong perhaps, Centenial Glen, the Cox’s River? Farmland nevertheless, a dam, some cows perhaps… A strong sense of the familiar, beautifully composed full of depth and romance… I can feel the painter so strongly… Questions… Thoughts… It caught my attention and kept me lingering longer


Angelika Sassenberg:  No 2   Ink

Commended: No 2

Artist:  Angelika Sassenberg

Medium: Ink

Judge’s comments: 

A delightful painting. Bold circles of wet on wet watercolours or inks. Sea anemone? Amoeba? or ? Beautifully designed in its delicate finishing. Relaxing and calming.  Gentle and mesmerising …. monochromatic. Just delightful.



Elizabeth Sayers:  Trees have the Best Views   Acrylic

Commended: Trees Have the Best Views

Artist:  Elizabeth Sayers

Medium:  Acrylic

Judge’s comments: 

Trees never fail to capture my attention and heart.  They fill our lungs with fresh air and a vital force. I am always appreciative of those that notice their beauty. How the light dances through them. This painting is full of life. It is alive. The painter stopped at just the right moment giving it a fresh feeling.  I love the depth, and am intrigued by the mauve in the distance.  I can feel the leaves rustle as the light dances on them and illuminates the bark.



Christopher Scott:   Landscape   OIl

Commended:  Landscape

Artist: Christopher Scott

Medium: Oil

Judge’s comments: 

A grand scenic that captures my attention in a mix of realism and stylistic play.  Escarpments, clouds, steep forest and magical dancing gum trees.  Keeping the balance between all of these elements keeps me returning, like I would to a puzzle, trying to figure out why this painting captures my attention so much.  Moving away from realism certainly enchants me.  Light and airy, playful and romantic. 



The People’s Choice:  Landscape
Artist: Peter Burger
Medium:  Acrylic
see above Highly Commended