CQU Creates artist on a winner with comment on failed council amalgamation

Published:26 July 2016

1: 2016 CQU Creates Award winner Peta Lloyd (left) with competition judge Lyn Diefenbach. 2: Winning artwork 'Crossing Boundaries'. 3: CQU Creates Student Award winning artwork 'The swallow's nest'. 4: Competition judge Lyn Diefenbach.

A past CQ TAFE student, Peta Lloyd has been announced winner of the CQU Creates Award with her mixed media assemblage entitled Crossing Boundaries.

The $1000 non-acquisitive award rewards the artwork described as 'encaustic on board, fixed to posts, strung above with barbed wire'.

The artist says that, a mere eight years ago, "the Shire of Livingstone, (I fondly call it ‘The Shire’), merged with the City of Rockhampton, and the Mount Morgan and Fitzroy Shires, to become a greater entity – known as the Rockhampton Region. We became one.

“Two years ago, The Shire won the right to de-amalgamate from the Rockhampton Region, becoming the ‘Shire’ once again. Competitiveness and division become the order of the day.  

“Living in the ‘forgotten end’ of the Capricorn Coast - the Southern section of The Shire, my work and leisure time is spent crossing boundaries, as I deliver workshops, visit family and friends, participate in community activities and join other artists in exhibiting and performing in a variety of places and spaces in each local council area.

“Inclusiveness and celebrations for everyone. In this series of three works I have purposely torn apart and re-joined maps of local council areas in which I live, work and play.  Hand stitching has been used to reconnect cities and towns in unexpected ways, rivers and waterways run outside the borders of the map fragments.  Red stitching embedded into the many layers of wax, trace my travels across borders.

“The boundaries have changed, competitiveness and division between communities are appearing– none-the-less, I remain an artist who enjoys working with the communities of this great Capricornia Region without allowing boundaries to limit me.”

This year’s competition judge, Yeppoon-based artist Lyn Diefenbach, said of Peta Lloyd’s work:

“Conceptually, the artist expresses well her ideas about the amalgamation and subsequent de-amalgamation of the Rockhampton City and Livingstone Shire local government areas. Separated but still held together with a barbed wire fence, the two regions have a prickly relationship but are still able to work together. The artwork is skilfully executed and the panels are beautiful in juxtaposition to the posts and wire. There is so much to enjoy about its multi layers of visual imagery; the more you look at it, the more you see.”

Meantime, Elisha Habermann, a current Visual Arts student at CQUni Rockhampton City campus, has been announced as winner of the 2016 CQU Creates Student Award ($500, non-acquisitive), with a portrait of her daughter (graphite, coloured pencils and acrylic on canvas) entitled 'The swallow’s nest'.

“The swallow’s nest is a quiet, calm and serene portrait of my eldest daughter Courtney," the artist says. "Normally she has quite a tempestuous nature, constantly at war with the world around her, but when you see her interact with animals, you become aware of a gentler side to her nature, a sensitivity that you might not suspect otherwise.

“I like to combine graphite, acrylics and coloured pencils on canvas to create unique, interesting and somewhat intimate artworks of ‘real’ people.

“I prefer drawing ‘real’ people, because I find beauty in all of those little faults often found when looking in the mirror, whether they be freckles, wrinkles or scars, these little imperfections combine to create truly unique and wonderful beings.”

Judge Lyn Diefenbach says Elisha Habermann's work was “a skilfully and beautifully rendered drawing, with a great deal of emotional appeal".

CQUniversity Art Collection Manager Sue Smith says the CQU Creates Awards are now in their third year and go from strength to strength, with more entries (41 in total) in 2016, and also a greater participation of current students and two Indigenous artists for the first time. The entrants are from Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Bundaberg, Mackay, Cairns, Noosa, Brisbane and Melbourne.

"CQU Creates 2016 includes paintings, pastel drawings, mixed media pieces, two videos and jewellery," Ms Smith says.

Artworks of note, demonstrating the diversity of the entries, include:

A mixed media assemblage (acrylic, ochre, dog hair and photos on canvas), Wunndurra and Gooranghi, warrior dingoes, by Indigenous artist and Rockhampton North academic and researcher, Pamela CroftWarcon. The artist says: “This work is in response to the negative attitude by many Australians to the dingo as a nuisance to be exterminated. The artwork contextualises the connection the artist has to both the dingo and red heeler cattle dogs who share common DNA. This attitude also extends into the Australian psyche of how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are viewed and objectified.”

Creative non-fictions 1 & 2 (3D digital pigment prints) by Brisbane-based artist and PhD student, A K Milroy. Milroy describes her images as “visualisations of deep time [depicting] 30 million-year-old fossil fruit”.

Rockhampton Technical College (acrylic on canvas) by Rockhampton-based CQUniversity Administration and Customer Service Officer, Janet Pleash. Ms Pleash attended classes in the historic building (now a hotel) as a TAFE business administration student and her aunt, now 89, studied domestic science in the building at the age of 14. A self-taught artist, Ms Pleash says she has been painting for many years and her “main aim with each piece, apart from enjoyment, is for me to an improvement in my art work.”

*  CQUniversity is grateful to the distinguished and award-winning local artist and tutor, Lyn Diefenbach, for her work assessing the competition. Lyn Diefenbach is an artist and tutor for whom “the pursuit of masterly quality and technique is a high priority” for her work, which is “imbued with a celebration of life”. She has received many commissions and awards for her floral and human interest paintings in oils and pastels. In 1998, she gained recognition as a Master Pastellist from the Australian Pastel Society. She was made a member of the International Guild of Realism in 2008 and in 2014 received Master Circle status from the International Association of Pastel Societies. She appeared in an episode of the television show Put Some Colour in Your Life in 2015, and her work has featured in numerous articles in American Art Collector, Australian Artist and International Artist magazines. Ms Diefenbach has exhibited nationally and internationally and her paintings are represented in public and private collections nationally and internationally.