Arts and Culture

A Bird in the Sand

Photo: CY Entertainment

A 2-metre tall charcoal drawing of a wedge-tailed eagle has soared in to win the inaugural Girra: Fraser Coast National Art Prize.

The $25,000 acquisitive prize has been awarded to Western Australian artist Anna Louise Richardson for her work I asked for a sign (wedge-tailed eagle), a large-scale charcoal drawing on cement fibreboard.

Ms Richardson’s work centres around drawing and rendering realistic scenes that speak strongly to her experience of rural life as a member of a multigenerational farming family.

Her winning creation was part of a body of work developed after her mother’s death.

Ms Richardson encountered birds of prey during this time, sensing they were visits by her late mother.

The work was selected from a shortlist of eighteen artists from across the country by a panel of judges, including artist and Associate Professor, University of Queensland Dr Fiona Foley, Director of University of Queensland Art Museum Peta Rake and Director of Hervey Bay Regional Gallery Ashleigh Whatling.

Via video message from her home in WA, Ms Richardson graciously accepted the prize.

“It is an incredible thing to have my work recognised in this way.” – Anna Louise Richardson

Richardson’s intricately detailed and impressively scaled work represents a significant early acquisition for the newly focused Hervey Bay Regional Gallery Collection.

This Girra exhibition tells a compelling story about our relationship to the environment through the diverse perspectives and aesthetic approaches of 18 exciting artists from across the country. It is on display at the Hervey Bay Regional Gallery until 12 November 2023.

The gallery is open Tuesdays – Fridays, 10am – 4pm, and on weekends, 10am – 2pm.

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