The winner of the 24th Muswellbrook Photographic Award is Edward Gillan.
The Award was announced on 08 March at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre by the adjudicator Anne Loxley, Curator C3 West from the Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay, Sydney.
For Edward Gillan the Award is worth $10,000 thanks to the sponsorship of Coal & Allied and the Muswellbrook & Districts Camera Club, as well as his winning work entitled Man Taking Photograph entering the permanent collection held at the Arts Centre known as the Muswellbrook Shire Art Collection.
Anne Loxley said that the competition between the fifty finalists was fierce.
"I was intimidated when I first entered the Arts Centre, because the quality of the works was so high.
"I felt almost overwhelmed by the outstanding impact of being in a gallery with so many standout photographic works to choose from.
"In the end it comes down to looking for a work that not only has that wow factor but also has that special something in art that will bring the viewer back to a work many, many times. It’s something I call the works aura.”
Anne found that special something in Edward Gillan’s black and white image of a man crouching to take a tourist snap.
"This is an image with a strong narrative but it also raises more questions about our relationship to photography than it answers. It really makes you think about why and when we take photos and how they affect our perception of the world" said Ms Loxley.
Edward Gillan is also the producer, writer and director of the award winning Australian feature length documentary film Desperate Man Blues 2003, an extraordinary look at the passion of collecting through the eyes of Joe Bussard, an original American character and his quest to save “America’s real music”.
The crowd of eighty guests at the opening of the exhibition were captivated by both Anne Loxley and the photographs.
While the fifty finalists came from up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia, it was a local Muswellbrook artist who was singled out by Anne Loxley to receive the one and only Highly Commended citation that the adjudicator awarded. Leanne Ward was thrilled when Ms Loxley announced that her work entitled So You Think You Can Dance was the recipient. While the Highly Commended citation carries no monies, to be the only one in a field of forty nine finalists culled from the original two hundred and ten entries is high praise indeed.
The exhibition continues at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre until Sunday 20th April 2014.