| Jul 25, 2013
Once again Australia’s North West Tourism was an Associate Sponsor of the Cossack Art Award and travelled to the Pilbara to enjoy the program.
Journalist Mark Naglazas from The West Australian Newspaper joined me in Karratha to attend this year’s Cossack Art Award staged annually at the historic Cossack settlement within the interesting architecture of the Old Post and Telegraph Office and the Bond Store, with its magnificent granite and bluestone masonry.
(Robyn Maher and Mark Naglazas at the Cossack Art Award. Image: Lillian Frost)
This event is a project of the Shire of Roebourne with Rio Tinto as Principal Partner. The Cossack Art Award is recognised internationally and nationally as the most isolated and richest acquisitive art award in regional Australia.
(Shire of Roebourne staff amongst some of the artwork. Image: Lillian Frost)
6x6 Arts Forum was the first event for the program. A relaxed evening of arts conversation and networking with the judges, artists, curators, volunteers and staff behind the art award. This event featured six artists speaking about their art practice for six minutes.
Mark and I were fortunate enough to join Archaeologist Ken Mulvaney, acclaimed judges Lindy Lee and Seva Frangos, Ron Bradfield, Tabitha Minns & Gavin Buckley from Artsource, Caspar Fairhall (2013 Cossack Art Award Artist in Residence) and William Barton, world renowned Didgeridoo and classical guitarist for an informative tour of the ancient Petroglyphs at Hearson’s Cove, Burrup Peninsula. This was an unforgettable experience to view Aboriginal rock art dating back 20,000 years.
(William Barton performing didgeridoo and guitar. Image: Lillian Frost)
The Sponsor’s Preview night was a wonderful opportunity to view all 293 entries, 108 being from the Pilbara. MC Verity James ensured proceedings ran smoothly and 2012 ARIA award winner for best classical album William Barton performed the didgeridoo and classical guitar that captivated guests in the stunning surrounds of Cossack’s heritage buildings.
We also visited the Roebourne Art Group, Yinjaa-Barni Art Centre and the new Roebourne Amphitheatre and learnt all about Weerianna Street Media and Big Hart’s Hip Bone Sticking Out Project.
The Cossack Art Award Opening Night was buzzing with excitement as we waited to learn the winners. Total prize money for the awards is $109,000 – 9 Category’s plus Best Artwork by Pilbara Artist and Best Overall Artwork.
(Checking out some of the 293 pieces of artwork at the Cossack Art Awards. Image: Lillian Frost)
Judges Lindy Lee & Seva Frangos had the difficult task of choosing the winners. Best Overall Artwork was awarded to Artist Lesley Munro for 'The Way Back', Prize Money $15,000 and $15,000 Artist in Residence Program.
(Artist Lesley Munro and her winning artwork. Image: Lillian Frost)
Sunday morning the public got to join the judges Lindy and Seva in an exhibition floor talk conversation and tour to discuss the judging process and the value of open art prizes. Following the Judges Floor Talk was the popular event Cossack Family Day attracting thousands of visitors. This event showcases the creativity of the community with market stalls, craft workshops and live entertainment including Dorothy the Dinosaur!
On our last day we travelled to Dampier to join Brad Beaumont from Discovery Cruising. We cruised to Sam’s Island, Pirates Cove, viewed rock art sites on East Lewis Island and observed loading of salt and iron ore on to massive ships. The Dampier Archipelago is made up of 42 islands, we enjoyed a taste of these beautiful islands and beaches and enjoyed the stunning landscape from Brad’s boat the “Blue Marlin”.
(Cruising the Dampier Archipelago on the 'Blue Marlin' Image: Robyn Maher)
Special thanks to Sean Turton from ibis Styles Karratha, Vanessa Subramoney Shire of Roebourne, Jen Hourquebie from Archipelago Arts, Brad Beaumont from Discovery Cruising and of course Mark Naglazas for coming to the Pilbara from Perth and his coverage of the awards in The West Australian Newspaper.
Interested in visiting the Pilbara? Find out more: at Roebourne Visitor Centre and Australia's North West.