Emerging artist triumphs at art awards

Five local artists were recognised at the official opening of the Maari Ma Indigenous Art Awards exhibition on Friday night.

Kathy Graham from the Broken Hill City Art Gallery and Museum said a great deal of planning had gone into the night and emphasised the high quality of the works entered.

“I’ve been involved in the art awards for quite a few years now, and the quality of works keeps getting better each year, which is really incredible to see,” Ms Graham told the Barrier Truth.

“We’ve got four amazing organisations there that work really well together to pull off the Maari Ma Indigenous Art Awards quite successfully.”

David Doyle, winner of the open category with his piece entitled Values, received effusive praise from Ms Graham for his dedication to his art.

“He’s only been doing it for five years as an artist, but he’s probably explored more mediums and depth behind his work than most artists who have been in the field much longer,” she said.

“He is passionate not only about the work itself but also about creating a reason and telling a story behind the work. I can’t speak highly enough of the importance of storytelling through art to make people understand it,” she added.

Mr Doyle himself expressed delight at winning his first major award and revealed a family connection that made the occasion even more special.

“It was fantastic to win. I was stoked that on the night, of the five awards, my niece won one and my auntie won another one, so I was delighted that the three of us were able to share that together,” Mr Doyle told the Barrier Truth.

Mr Doyle’s aunt Barbara Quayle won the Nhuunghi Prize for Excellence for Black Willow Seed Pod Brass Ring, while his niece, Darlene Newman, took home the Children’s Art Award for Dawn to Darkness: Resilience of Everyday.

Ms Graham acknowledged the family connection, noting that five generations of the Quayle family had entered the competition.

“It was truly amazing to have five generations of the same family enter the competition, and it gave me goosebumps when I realised it,” Ms Graham said.

The night also recognised tremendously talented young artists. The Emerging Artist Award was given to Brady Prescott for Dreamtime Whispers, and the Young Artist Award went to Jakora Paulson for Sunrise.

“We had some incredible young and talented artists enter the competition this year, making the judges’ lives very difficult,” Ms Graham added.

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