Woolwash memories, Dreamtime stories and cancer survival recognised in 2019 CQU Creates awards

Memories of the Woolwash (detail) by Carmen Beezley-Drake, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

Memories of the Woolwash (detail) by Carmen Beezley-Drake, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

CQU Creates - an annual competition and travelling exhibition for artwork by past and present CQUniversity Australia students and staff - is on the road for 2019.

The main award this year went to Memories of the Woolwash, a mixed media landscape on paper by Carmen Beezley-Drake. The piece was praised by the judge as a bold yet subtle work, confidently balancing abstract elements with a detailed and intimate knowledge of an Australian landscape.

Carmen’s landscape depicts an historic site on the outskirts of Rockhampton, once used as a wash for wool.

“It’s quite a magical place with abundant bird life and some evidence of its earlier agricultural life," she says.

Myiagras of the Bucca Bucca (detail) by Llewllyn Swallow, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

Myiagras of the Bucca Bucca (detail) by Llewllyn Swallow, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

The CQU Creates Indigenous Art Award went to Bundaberg artist Llewellyn Swallow, who also won in 2018.

The judge commented on the strong, layered composition blending a traditional narrative with a personal and contemporary treatment of colour and movement.

A past student of CQUniversity, Mrs Swallow said her acrylic painting Myiagras of the Bucca Bucca was based on a dreamtime story of birds, threatened by hunters, who built their nests floating in the skies far above the campsites of Indigenous hunters below.

Thymoma  by Brianna Brett, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

Thymoma by Brianna Brett, courtesy CQUniversity Australia.

The CQU Creates Student Award 2019 ($500) was won by Brianna Brett, a current student from Mackay and now living in Moranbah.

Brianna’s winning embroidered fabric sculpture, Thymoma, takes the form of a diary released from a ribcage.

The judge said it was a well thought out and confidently executed piece about surviving harrowing cancer treatment ― a harsh theme in startling contrast to the softness and prettiness of the embroidered fabric and detailing.

Ms Brett said that while physical and mental scars remain after such medical treatment, her aim was to celebrate recovery, beauty and light.

The CQU Creates Art Awards celebrates its 6th anniversary this year, with a record number of 68 entries ranging from paintings, drawings, photography, prints and videos to three-dimensional works using found objects (including a suitcase and part of a termite’s mound), recycled and synthetic materials, and glass, fabric, fibre, clay and aluminium.

The Rockhampton leg of the exhibition is now over, and here are your opportunities to see the show in other CQ centres:

CQUniversity Mackay City, Sydney Street:

9 am – 4 pm Thu 8 – Fri 9 August

9 am – 12 noon Saturday 10 August (CQU Open Day)

CQUniversity Bundaberg, University drive:

9 am – 4 pm Thu 22 – Fri 23 August

CQUniversity Gladstone Marina, Bryan Jordan Drive:

9 am – 4 pm Wed 28 August

9 am – 8 pm Thu 29 August

CQUniversity Emerald, Capricorn Highway:

9 am – 5 pm Fri 6 September

9 am – 12 noon Sat 7 September