WHEN the Hive owner and curator, Helen Ferguson, agreed to provide an exhibition award for the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council Regional Arts Awards, she had no idea of how challenging it would be.
The number and variety of entries were huge, but when it came to choosing an artist she selected not someone with potential sales capability, but an unknown figurative artist.
In fact the winner, Patrick Morison, while somewhat reclusive, has a strong track record.
A 1980s painting graduate from the old Canberra Institute of the Arts, he has exhibited his work at Graffix, Bitumen River Gallery and Solander Gallery in Canberra as well as Queanbeyan’s Design Plus Gallery.
“I think Patrick was shell-shocked to be the winner, just as I was about the whole experience,” Ferguson reports, explaining that winning had inspired him to create a new series influenced by Hugh Ramsay, the great Australian painter of the late 19th and early 20th century who was the subject of a recent show at the NGA, paying homage to Ramsay’s “Girl Half Naked Leaning on Box” and “Female Half-draped”.
Other works on show, his “Birdman” paintings, are imagined impressions of figures in the landscape inspired by seeing the birds while walking around Lake Burley Griffin.
Here’s a coincidence. Morison wanted to exhibit in November, his birth month, and guess what? It turns out to be exactly the same day as Ferguson’s.
“What a great day to celebrate the things we love—art, beauty and the expression of creativity,” she says.
“Sweetheart”, paintings by Patrick Morison, at The Queanbeyan Hive, 274 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan, 10am-4pm, Wednesday to Saturday, November 26-December 19. The official opening is 6pm, tonight (November 25). Registrations here.