Official opening of 'Art of Nature' a huge success

The official opening for our Art of Nature Exhibition last night was a huge success! Minister Shane Rattenbury, member of the ACT Legislative Assembly launched the exhibition with comments about the importance of art in the context of conservation and the environment. Natalie Maras represented WABA members with an inspiring speech - to be published on our new website for all to read (the new website will be available soon). There were around one hundred guests at our exhibition opening (some had to leave early, and others came over later after attending other events), and we have already sold eleven artworks!

I would like to congratulate all exhibiting members for the high standard of work included in this year’s exhibition. It is wonderful to see the diversity of subject matter and use of a range of mediums. The exhibition is a credit to all involved. Thanks especially to Di Stockbridge and Dawn Gray, with some help from Halina Steele, for hanging the exhibition – it looks fantastic. I was also able to have some time off work to help with setting up the room, which I enjoyed very much. I hope that everyone will be able to visit the exhibition and help with the roster over the next ten days – it’s a great opportunity to spend some time looking at the works more carefully.

Dr Leo Joseph, Professor Andrew Young and Julie Bradley presented the WABA awards. We appreciate the time they have taken to combine their knowledge and experience with the challenging task of nominating awards – it is always a difficult task, but one that is reached through consensus and substantial consideration.

Congratulations to the following Award winners:

Best in Show : Linda Weil – ‘Quoll Query’ (pencil)

Traditional Botanical Award: Halina Steele ‘ Alygone huegelii and Brown Honeyeater’ (watercolour)

Contemporary Botanical Award: Sharon Field ‘Australian bush flowers’ (graphite)

Works Featuring or including Australian Native Plants: Steve Davidson ‘Earth Star fungi’ (watercolour)

Highly Commended Botanical Award: Sonja Boric ‘ Monstera Deliciosa’ (watercolour)

Traditional Wildlife Award: Julia Landford ‘Portunas armatus – blue swimmer crab’ (gouache)

Contemporary Wildlife Award: Ji Qui ‘Cassowary’ (acrylic on canvas)

Works featuring or including Australian Native Animals: Marjorie Roach ‘Djingo’ Dingo II (scraper board)

Highly Commended Wildlife Award: Pete Marshall ‘Preening in blues’ (coloured pencil)

Nature in Focus Award: Janet Matthews ‘Here I am – Bettong’ (pencil)

Three Dimensional Award: Natalie Maras ‘Payload’ (Polymer clay, metal leaf, beads, wood)