Best of Show at the Victor Harbor Show is chosen by guest judge Yvonne East

The 41st Rotary Club of Victor Harbor Art Show opened on Friday, January 10, with a ticketed preview event held and the Best of Show chosen.

Guest Judge Yvonne East selected Mount Barker artist Jan Brown's work 'The Day My Heater Blew Up And Other Things', as the number one painting at the 2020 Art Show.

Yvonne had to judge 1478 entries, with 1262 Open entries, 47 Sculpture entries and 46 Junior entries accepted.

This left 123 entries rejected, which shows the popularity of the respected event. This is approximately 200 entries more than previous years and 120 up on artworks accepted.

"It was a very tough process to judge all the great pieces of art. My head was like scrambled eggs, but it was so rewarding as the work was wonderful, diverse and full of quality," Yvonne said.

Yvonne said the winning painting was quiet work and a selection of objects, a still-life.

The judges notes read - "At first look I was struck by the artists sense of humour. The broken fan... artists often work next to a strategically positioned heater - to save cost, but also due to the nature of an artists studio space - they are often freezing.

As our eye is lead around the composition from one object to the next, we start to form an idea of the type of person who owns this studio. We have been invited into the artists space. The studio. it is a personal space and also a space of vulnerability. In everyday life, the objects we surround ourselves with become part of who we are, and in a way, can create a form of self-portrait.

Objects that are important to us are not just recalled as a photograph in our mind, we have memories of holding, using and moving around them. The composition of this work does not rely on traditional two point perspective. Instead it echoes this sense of moving in and around objects. It relates the sensation of focusing on an object with precise clarity then it becomes vague as we move away. This is expressed through areas of technical virtuosity (and I encourage you to look at Jan's other works) that melt into the hazy abstraction of memory. The eye is lead around the canvas in a circular motion - resting on objects, and then invited to the next one - never getting bored, but also not visually overwhelmed.

As we look at the objects, the fan on the bottom right hand corner exhales a last puff of smoke. There is also a phone with a cracked screen, and flowers from a previous still life are starting to wilt. This is a world falling apart. Things break or fall apart and sometimes we feel helpless. But this composition holds this crumbling world together. It holds its integrity.

The purple colour in the smoke from the fan is echoed in the background glazes. There is a wonderful complexity to the layering of paint - some areas of almost exposed canvas contrasting with areas of deep luminosity.

At the centre of the composition is the artists palette. The centre of the artists world and is an object imbued with endless potential. (and I love the splash of blue on the pallet that melts down into the shadows of the green vase)

This still life tells a story of hope, when sometimes hope seems difficult. A sentiment that can resonate with us all at this time.

It is a fascinating and brave painting. I encourage you all to spend some time with it. And I would like to congratulate Jan on her wonderful achievement."

The winning work (Best of Show) received $12,500 and the the best sculpture will win the $500 Rotary Victor Harbor Prize.

The 2020 Victor Harbor Art Show is on Warland Reserve, Victor Harbor from Saturday, January 11, to Saturday, January 18, from 9.30am to 8.30pm daily.

Those interested in having a sneak peak at artworks exhibited in the marquee can do so at the online preview gallery at victorharborartshow.com.au/gallery

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