For the past 14 years, the Margaret River Independent School has held the annual Margaret River Art Auction, where artists, local businesses and the community come together to raise money for the school. Artists donate artworks, businesses sponsor generous monetary prizes, and the community gets to have a party and purchase the donated art at a fun-filled, fast-paced auction. The evening is a bit of a local institution and is always very generously supported by established and emerging local artists.
This year, the Witchcliffe Ecovillage was proud to be invited to sponsor a brand new prize for the Art Auction: the Witchcliffe Ecovillage Sustainability Prize. The prize was awarded to an artwork selected for its artistic merit and its relevance to one or more of the following themes, all of which are close to the Ecovillage team’s collective hearts:
- community connections
- sustainable development
- fresh food
- the local environment
I was assigned the difficult job of co-judging the prize, but luckily, I had the expert assistance of Skye Robertson: talented local artist, previous People’s Choice winner at the Art Auction, and teacher at the Margaret River Independent School. It wasn’t an easy decision with many of the artworks featuring gorgeous local landscapes or celebrating community connections, but we were unanimous in our choice of Kay Gibson’s stunning entry “The Boobook Look.” Artistically, it is a superb piece combining etching and gouache brushwork to create a delicate portrait of a bird we all know and love down here, but we also felt that the owl’s gaze seemed like a direct appeal to us as viewers to preserve the fragile beauty of our local environment.
The WEV Team had a great night at the event and we all went home with fabulous new artworks to grace our walls and remind us of what a fantastic community we live in.