Nominee Category – Visual Arts
Anne Edwards & Robin Gurr
Potters and Coordinators
Robin Gurr and Anne Edwards, Blue Mountains potters, are recognised for their creative arts leadership in organising the 2019 Blue Mountains Pottery Fair. The Fair was a cooperative venture between local Blue Mountains potters and the Nolan on Lovel Gallery to provide an opportunity to showcase and market the work of local potters and promote the Blue Mountains as a centre of excellence for ceramics. The fair showcased 17 potters and attracted good crowds over the weekend. Recently Robin started hosting a Mud Glorious Mud show on Radio Blue Mountains which promotes the work of local ceramic artists and educates the community at large about the high quality and diverse ceramic work being done in the Blue Mountains.
Visual artist & curator
Beata Geyer’s artistic practice encompasses a variety of media from painting, photography and video to large scale, site-specific installation and public art projects. She has curated and participated in group exhibitions across Australia. Beata is a leader in the community creative arts sector, both as an Executive Board Member of Modern Art Projects (MAP) and Director of West Project Space in the Blue Mountains. While the Katoomba Kiosk awaits its restoration and redevelopment, TOOLO and MAPBM, in a project led by Beata, have transformed the space so it can be used for book launches, workshops, art exhibitions and artist-in-residence studios.
Painter & gallery mentor
Colette who has exhibited in a number of solo and group exhibitions, uses the beauty of the countryside and the animals around her to inform and inspire her paintings. She loves mixing realistic images with a degree of abstraction to create an environment which is both familiar and yet slightly unusual. She has demonstrated her creative arts leadership as a founding member of the Lithgow Arts Trail, which annually involves 19 artist and craft artisan open studios. Colette has also been integral in setting up Gang Gang Gallery and she has mentored and advised the gallery to ensure its success.
Artist & teacher
For over 20 years Mathew Lynn has been one of Australia’s best-known portrait artists and has been an Archibald Prize finalist 16 times. His current work explores the phenomenon of personhood, and the racial structures in society as experienced in meditative states. Two of the indigenous Gundungurra elders’ portraits (Aunty Mary King and Uncle Merv Cooper), from his open-ended portrait series, won the People’s Choice in the 2019 Blue Mountains Portraits exhibition. Mathew’s leadership has been through his role as a regular judge for Blue Mountains arts competitions.
Henryk Topolnicki’s sculptural work reflects his deep connection to the rugged nature of the Blue Mountains and his appreciation of space, both in the design of works and in the attitude of the artist. Henryk’s outdoor sculptural work and installations have been commissioned by many local councils. He has had a long engagement with the Blue Mountains community through his works and through Gallery H and has helped host ‘Encountering the Wild’, combining a sculpture exhibition with performances by musicians, keynote speakers and poets. Henryk makes his well-equipped studio/foundry available to fellow artists.
Art therapist & visual artist
Wendy Tsai specialises in watercolour exploring the edges of the urban and natural worlds. Her work has been selected for the Kedumba Drawing Award and Parliament Plein Air Exhibition, as well as regional and interstate collections. As part of Wendy’s work in supporting other artists, she established the Talking Arts program which provides a space for practising artists to share their experiences and mentor emerging artists wishing to learn from others. Wendy is on the Management Committee for Blue Mountains Creative Arts Network.
Visual artist & printmaker
Freedom Wilson is passionate printmaker. Freedom’s creative arts leadership is through her role with Laughing Bird Studio and working on a mentor project to be launched in 2020 through a shared studio space on Power House Lane, Katoomba. The themes her work explores is protection, conservation and revegetation of Australia’s natural wilderness. Her investigative drawing is on location and the basis of her print designs are upscale tiny plants and fungus transformed into larger heroic images. Most recently she has been searching for the threatened Diuris aequalis orchid with ecologist Anna Murphy. As they search, they discuss the complex habitats and the relationships between plants, animals and micro-organisms.