CQUni Visual Arts teacher wins 2021 CQU Creates Award with reflective photographic portrait

24 August 2021

CQUniversity Visual Arts teacher Patrick Connor has taken out the 2021 CQU Creates Art Award with a thought-provoking digital portrait which reflects upon his career as a teacher while honouring his mentor and friend' the late Peter Indans.

Patrick' who has been a teacher with CQUniversity and the former Central Queensland Institute of TAFE for more than 25 years' said his artwork' The Ambassador and Friends aimed to reflect where he came from and where he is now.

The digital photograph is a self-portrait within a portrait' depicting a painting Patrick did of Peter Indans' who was also a Visual Arts teacher at CQIT and a renowned artist in his own right. It was also inspired by a Hans Holbein painting' The Ambassadors (1533). It is a painting that itself reflects on mortality and approaches to knowledge.

"The submissions this year were of a high quality and so I was surprised to hear that I was selected as the award winner this year. Congratulations go to the other category winners and the other 48 finalists'" Patrick said.

"It may not surprise that I believe that visual artists play an important role in shaping conversations about what our best selves might look like.

"The CQU Creates Art Awards is a fantastic opportunity for the CQU community to engage in' celebrate and share creative expression' whilst seeking to make a positive impact within that community and broader afield.

"I commend (CQU Creates Arts Awards coordinator and CQUni Art Collection Manager) Sue Smith on her vision and continuing efforts to ensure that this award is an important event in the CQU calendar."

CQU Creates judge Veronika Zeil said: "This is an outstanding' engaging work' as understated in its presentation as it is filled with layers of subtle symbolism and technical skill."

"It reflects upon a much-analysed artwork from the Renaissance by Hans Holbein' The French Ambassadors as well as on the history of portraiture' photography' and the psychological symbolism of mirrored images in art throughout art history.

"Clever referencing and juxtaposing of subjects and objects create a sense of ambiguity and reflection.

"The averted gaze of the self-reflection of the artist capturing himself with camera and globe in a mirror on an easel' blends the artist and teacher into the background' pensive' independent' recording and giving access to knowledge."

Watch the CQU Creates Art Awards HERE