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Mandorla Art Award – Finalist!

By April 25, 2024New work

I’m so pleased to have been selected as a finalist in the biannual Mandorla Art Award 2024 with my painting “Flood Waters”.

The Mandorla Art Award is a contemporary art award that aims to foster “a relationship between contemporary fine artists and the writings of the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures”. Each award has a different theme and is led by a bible passage. This year the theme was “Refocus” – Let all that you do be done with Love (1 Corinthians 16:14).

To engage with this theme I reached out to an old friend of mine who has a deep and committed relationship with his Christian faith. He sent me some reading around this teaching and supported me in unpacking it. I imagined Paul speaking into a community of people who were divided amongst themselves and felt his calling to love and care for each other in unity.

I then reflected on how this value presents itself in my life and I was drawn to the story of the big flood event in my community and surrounds.

Thus, Flood Waters recounts the night of February 28th 2022 when Lismore and the surrounding areas were inundated with up to 13 metres of flood water. In the dark and the rain of this event and over the days and weeks to follow countless people reached out in support of each other in a profound display of love in action. This painting focuses on the dramatic rescues of families stranded on rooftops by the “tinny brigades” – community members in private water craft. This care and support continued as the community assisted each other with cleaning, cooking and accommodation. When St Paul beseeched the people to “let all that you do be done in love” I feel that he was referring to this genuine and active desire for the welfare of others and that our community embodied it in such a glorious way.

I am humbled that this painting will hang in the Holmes a Court gallery in Perth from 25 May – 15 June, 2024.

The story of this flood event is a massive story to tell and I do hope that I have done it justice and that it contributes to the ongoing discussion of how we can be good and loving to each other.