Study in pride takes the prize

LOCAL artist Adrienne Hunt from Berry was this year’s winner of the annual Mental Health Fellowship open art competition.

The exhibition at the Shoalhaven City Arts Centre, hosted by the Shoalhaven Mental Health Fellowship in partnership with the Shoalhaven Arts Board, saw many impressive and interpretive pieces.

The competition theme, Pride in Personal Recovery, sought the promotion and understanding of mental health in the community.

Competition organiser Jon Strang said getting people to understand the impact mental illness had on sufferers’ and carers’ lives was the aim of the theme.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about reducing stigma and educating the community about mental health and reducing prejudice,” he said.

Artist Adrienne Hunt said her charcoal drawing depicted the feelings of pain, challenges and a journey to glory through a marathon.

“The others look, and are inspired by, the individual shouting out in glory,” she said.

“I’ve entered the competition three times and I placed second and third in previous years so it’s really nice to get first prize.

“I’ve tried harder to fulfil the criteria and I hope it will assist in the general cause which is positive awareness.”

Judge Max Dingle said there was a very high standard this year.

“In the end the three judges got it down to 10 entrants who were short listed, which is a fairly high number for a large regional show,” he said.

“This year in particular was very high quality.

“It is open to everyone, not just to professional artists. It’s a community art show.

“One of the highly commended people last year was a young boy of eight.”

Mr Dingle said one of the highly commended drawings by David Rustle was beautiful and he was mainly a writer.

This year saw new entry requirements where artists could only submit one main entry rather than three. 

The annual exhibition comes to a close on Tuesday, May 6.

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