Young art prizewinner inspired by keen knitter

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A Hawker College student is the winner of this year’s Ray White Belconnen Art Prize for $500, announced this evening at Belconnen Arts Centre.

Sheida Sabet Raftar, Lois, pencil on paper, 2014 - Ray White Belconnen Art Prize winner
Sheida Sabet Raftar, Lois, pencil on paper, 2014 – Ray White Belconnen Art Prize winner

The prize-winner, Sheida Sabet Raftar, was selected from nearly 100 talented young artists in Year 11 & 12 from colleges in the north Canberra region who have been exploring the world around them through photography, painting, drawing, ceramics, textiles and design technology.

Raftar won the award for her work “Lois”, executed in pencil on paper. Lois, the subject of the prize winning work on paper and a resident at Kangara Waters Aged Care Facility, is an enthusiastic knitter, so the artist has drawn knitting needles at the base of the drawing and used the texture of wool throughout the picture.

Hawker College students have been visiting Kangara since 2010, meeting the residents, exchanging stories and memories as background research to their portraits.

The residents, the oldest being 94, made a lasting impression on the young artists and helped them generate creative and poignant art works. A portfolio of portrait photographs was used to create an inspiration board to support the young artists in their development of portraits in drawing, mixed media and as photos.

Daramalan, Dickson, Gungahlin, Hawker, Radford, St Francis Xavier Colleges, Burgmann Anglican School and UC Secondary College Lake Ginninderra participated in the accompanying “College Express 6” exhibition now on show.

Exhibition curator and Creative Programs Director at Belconnen Arts Centre, Jacque Schultze, in her last major project for the centre before   leaving for Sydney, visited each school in selecting the work. “I am very excited about the quality of the work this year, and have been impressed by the dedication of all the teaching staff and college principals who so enthusiastically support the students’ creative expression,” Schultze said.

The exhibition is presented throughout all the exhibition spaces in the Centre, including the Gallery, Foyer and Arts Lounge, and is an important feature of the yearly exhibition program.

“College Express 6” at Belconnen Arts Centre, until January 18.

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Helen Musa
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