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Winner of 2021 Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize announced

Melbourne artist Madeleine Joy Dawes has been named winner of the coveted 2021 Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize for her meticulous fiber-tipped pen on cotton-rag work titled, In My Mind (the voices that tear me apart).

Of the 39 finalists on show at Noosa Regional Gallery until 5 December, Dawes’ fastidious work attracted the attention of this year's judge, Sunshine Coast-based artist Lisa Adams, who is renowned for her painstaking oil paintings of compellingly realistic dreamscapes.

Dawes’ winning work In My Mind (the voices that tear me apart), takes its source imagery from Noosa’s popular Sunshine Beach. Intricate, meditatively drawn symbols combine to create an image that initially masquerades as a digital print, but is subverted by subtle nuances and imperfections of the artist's hand.

Says Dawes: “The principal theme in my work is employing iterative mark making as a temporal site to record measured and psychological time. Within each abstract mark, the minor tremors and inaccuracies of the hand are recorded; I consider my practice as something of a solitary durational performance.”

“I give my thanks to John McCrea for establishing this prize that celebrates the importance of drawing in Lyn’s honour, to Noosa Regional Gallery for hosting, and to judge Lisa Adams for selecting my work as this year's winner. I know it would have been an immensely difficult task amongst such a strong and considered body of works, and I am greatly honoured.”

Attracting entries from emerging and established artists Australia-wide, Noosa Regional Gallery Director Michael Brennan affirms that the diversity of works and interpretations of the medium that emerge from the nation-wide call for entries is “always exciting to see”.

“From technically stunning traditional approaches to drawing through to works that push at the boundaries of what drawing is and might be; it is evident that drawing continues to be a way of working that is embraced by contemporary artists and one that keeps audiences on their toes.”

The winner of the 2021 non-acquisitive Prize receives a cash prize of $5000. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to vote in The People’s Choice Award - the winner of which will receive $1000 cash prize, to be announced on Monday 29 November.

The 2021 Lyn McCrea Memorial Drawing Prize finalist exhibition will be on display at Noosa Regional Gallery until 5 December, 2021.


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