Art to Art | Unearthed Art Prize 2021 Finalists

Unearthed Art Prize 2021 Finalists

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Meet our Winners!

There were so many fantastic entrants to this years Unearthed Art Prize, and a big thank you to everyone who visited the gallery to cast their vote for the people Choice Award.
Congratulations to our 2021 Unearthed Art Prize Winner Jennifer Hopper and our People's Choice winner Belinda Blight!

Our 2021 Unearthed Art Prize has certainly unearthed some incredible talent! With over 160 entries it was our biggest yet.
Checkout all the 26 finalists below, and discover some amazing art, ready for your home.

All works are 54 x 64cm and box framed in raw oak unless otherwise described.

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Jennifer Hopper Red Hill Blues WINNNER

"Red Hill Blues" by Jennifer Hopper
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Jennifer's art journey has been full of creative detours; a B.A. in Fashion Design, acting, wedding planning and an Arts Reporter for Triple J - but what she really wanted was to turn her passion for creating her own art into a career. She is now making that dream a reality, taking every spare moment to dip a brush into paint and develop her art.

Her abstract works have lead her to new discoveries and a deeper understanding of colour and composition as she focusses on creating art that communicates a sense of joy and wonder. "Red Hill Blues" takes inspiration from the tantalising glimpse of the see that captivates Jennifer on her way to the Mornington Peninsula. Through richly layered and detailed spills of blue paint along with areas of white, Jennifer evokes the brilliance of the sea, and the way the landscape has shaped her view of the water.

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Belinda Blight Off in the Distance copy

"Off in the Distance" by Belinda Blight
Watercolour and coloured pencil on canvas - SOLD

Belinda's art is born out of a desire to celebrate and share the deep connection we have with our environment and its inhabitants. The people, animals, and places that remain in our memories - and the emotions attached to them - are what Belinda aims to capture in her work. Over time she has channelled her passion for art and design into a variety of pursuits including Industrial Design, Cookery, Visual Merchandising and Architecture.

She is drawn to capturing the softness and intelligence in the expressions of animals. While we can't speak with the pets we share our lives with, a special bond and communication exists between a dog and its owner - but sometimes that far off look makes you wish you could ask them what they're thinking.

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Alexia Prokopec Polish Hill River

"Polish Hill River" by Alexia Prokopec
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

An artist, Art and English teacher and young mother, Alexia lives in the middle north of South Australia, a well known wine region. She practices a varied style from semi-abstract to realistic and works with both acrylic and watercolour paints, and would love to branch out further.

"Polish Hill River" is inspired by Alexia's local surroundings, and is part of her recent series of semi-abstract landscape works.

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Amanda Hinkelmann Warrabinya to look for what is lost 2

"Warrabinya - To Look for What is Lost" by Amanda Hinkelmann
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Amanda has always had creative interests, but has begun painting with her two sisters just over a year ago. She is an Aboriginal artist living on Wiradjuri country, and her style is somewhere between Aboriginal art and abstract. Amanda is a primary school principal, and has plans to move into art full time, as well as working in art therapy to support victims of DV.

This work represents the internal struggle we have to fit in, and to do as others do. It follows the constant comparing of one to others, and the constant search for who you are. One lone woman sits amongst her chaos as the world moves on, but seeds for a new beginning just around the corner are also present.

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Blue Horizons2 Anita Jokovich 2

"Blue Horizons 2" by Anita Jokovich
Acrylic on canvas - Available

Anita is heavily inspired by the ocean, the sky and its surrounds when she paints. She considers her style to be intuitive and gestural, layering paint and creating a contrast of light and dark colours, representative of the perpetual movement of the ocean. For Anita, the intense colours of the ocean at both of Bondi and the Margaret River region are the inspiration and reason she paints.

'Blue Horizons 2' is, like much of Anita's works, inspired by her eternal love for the ocean and the feeling of hope for the future. In this work, hope appears through the light amongst the darkness.

Available: $550
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Anna Bektash I Met You In The Quiet2

"I Met You in the Quiet" by Anna Bektash
Acrylic on canvas - Sold

Growing up living between Australia and the USA has been a significant influence on Anna's work, and she loves retro and vintage design - particularly mid-century modern. After being diagnosed with Lyme disease and experiencing symptoms such as temporary loss of fine motor skills, Anna has learned to adapt how she paints with how her hands are working, and has enjoyed being pushed to try new things. After resigning from her job in social work, Anna is focusing on her art full time and loving it.

A scene set in the mid-century geometric apartment complex La Muralla Roja, "I Met You in the Quiet' shows a moment which opens up the possibilities of revelations, encounter and discovery. Anna's 'I Met You' series aims to capture those special moments when our lives are impacted through reading, writing, creating and pondering.

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Bridget Burke Self Portrait copy

"Self Portrait" by Bridget Burke
Oil on canvas - SOLD

Bridget's interest in art grew two years ago when she began getting tattoos. She left her job in early childhood education and pursued a more creative path, beginning drawing and falling in love with oil painting after being gifted a set of paints a year ago. Bridget took full advantage of the spare time found in lockdown to create more art, which solidified that she thrives when creating.

Entering a work into the Unearthed Art Prize left Bridget a little lost on what she wanted to create. After sketching and experimenting with various ideas, she decided to paint what she knows best - herself.

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Cameron Fosyth Iced Mocha Latte

"Iced Mocha Latte" by Cameron Forsyth
Aerosol on canvas - SOLD

Cameron has been a radio producer for twenty years making radio ads for a leading national network while living in Sydney with his wife, kids and dogs - every other waking moment he sinks into his love of art. Since 2017 Cameron has been developing his unique style, building and finding what he loves to paint. He enjoys exploring concepts and then progressing to a more disciplined-process approach when painting.

"Iced Mocha Latte" juxtaposes the image of the cute little teddy bear with its visualisation in harsh square pixels. Cameron hopes the irony brightens someones day, and gives them a warm comforting feeling.

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Carolynne Mc Intyre Deep Shadow Bright Light

"Deep Shadow, Bright Light" by Carolynne McIntyre
Oil on canvas - Available

After teaching art, ceramics, printmaking and textiles for 26 years, Carolynne has now retired and is enjoying furthering her creative interests through painting. As an art teacher she has worked in various media, but since retirement has found a greater interest in paints. She has experimented in styles ranging from botanical to abstract, but over time her natural style has developed to become something more impressionistic.

Living in the Dandenong Ranges for the past 45 years, Carolynne's work "Deep Shadow, Bright Light" is inspired by the early morning dappled light and shadows of Sherbrooke Forest near her home.

Available: $550
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Claire Manchanda Peaceful Proteas 2

"Peaceful Proteas" by Claire Manchanda
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

As an early years primary school teacher, Claire likes to use creativity and play to make her lessons fun and educational. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2019, Claire has found joy and relaxation in painting the beautiful flowers she has received from family and friends while undergoing treatment. Her love of painting flowers has grown, and she has kept painting in recovery and intends to continue when back at work part time.

Claire wanted to create a calm mood in her work "Peaceful Proteas" along with a the bright colour and detail in the flowers. She loves pink and often includes a version of it in her backgrounds.

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Donina Asera Rodeo Time

"Rodeo Time" by Donina Asera
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas - SOLD

Donina has always created art in some form, though she followed a different career path despite being accepted into a find arts course following school. Recently she was making lino prints and monoprints, but ultimately found that pursuit unsatisfying - and so started experimenting with abstracts.

Donina's painting are joyful and impressionistic, and contain glimpses and deconstructed parts of an imaginary landscape, as well as it's fabulous inhabitants.

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Emily Viski Awakening2

"Awakening" by Emily Viski
Acrylic on canvas - Available

Living in the Yarra Valley, Emily is surrounded by nature and mountains, with her daughter, pets and chooks. She sells eggs, produce and homemade preserves from an honesty cart outside her house, and loves exploring her local surrounds. Losing her part time job due to covid allowed Emily to take her creativity seriously, and start painting more often.

For Emily her work "Awakening" brings her much joy to look at, and she created the piece thinking of the year ahead being bright and full of possibilities. This work is all about the positive vibes for a fresh new year.

Available: $550
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Emma Mc Namara Its Just Magic

"Sometimes It's Just Magic" by Emma McNamara
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Emma is a colour lover, former interior designer, enjoyer of 80's and 90's music and intuitive abstract painter. She paints the way she feels after dancing to a song, looking in rock pools or giving her kids butterfly kisses. With careful brush stokes and considered colours she aims to capture that magic, and hang it on the wall.

Emma's works are saturated and subdued, colourful but with large areas of white, gentle and strong. "Sometimes It's Just Magic" is a piece full of energy and contradictions, of powering through and enjoying the calm along a journey of both bold and delicate colours and strokes.

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Florence Kelly Lobster oysters scallops

"Lobster, Oysters & Scallops" by Florence Kelly
Acrylic on canvas - Available

After studying fine arts and majoring in ceramics, Florence worked for Mud Australia, helping open stores all over the world. Returning to Australia in 2016, she co-founded and became Head Creative for TileCloud, an online store selling beautiful tiles for the modern Australian home. Two years ago Florence signed up for painting classes to further fulfil her creative urges and now paints from her home studio in Marrickville NSW.

Her studies in ceramics have drawn Florence to explore their colours, patterns and table-scape compositions. In Marrickville Florence also enjoys the seafood markets and sharing fresh seafood with friends, and these two experiences have come together in this work.

Available: $550
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Jacklyn Foster I Inspire Me

"I Inspire Me" by Jacklyn Foster
Mixed media on canvas - Available

Finding her way back to her creative roots at age 24, Jacklyn is now a full time artist, creative mentor, muralist and creative content creator. She has worked with the Royal Children's Hospital in their 150th Anniversary Arts Trail, completed a mural for the Mildura Arts Centre and has had her works appear on yoga mats.

This work comes from Jacklyn's journey back into art, and looking back on that journey and drawing inspiration from it - to be your own number one fan and to always back yourself, even when others don't

Available: $550
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Jessie Beard Sunshine coffee sea breeze copy

"Sunshine, Coffee, Seabreeze" by Jessie Beard
Acrylic and posca on canvas - Available

Using vibrant colours, fine patterns and textural markings as her tools, Jessie captures and exaggerates her natural surroundings - seeing her work as a euphoric and dreamlike abstraction of landscapes that extend on memories and capture what a photo cannot. Having nearly competed her Bachelor of Creative Arts & Design, Jessie has now been able to leave her day job to focus on art full time.

After days of sleepless nights with her newborn, Jessie craved an escape from the indoors. On walks with her mum down to the breach, takeaway coffee in hand and sleeping baby in the pram, Jessie could feel the sea breeze, gaze on the smoothly rolling waves and feel that peace.

Available: $550
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Kylie Richards The Depths 2

"The Depths" by Kylie Richards
Photographic print - Available

An enthusiastic photographer with a passion for botanical photography, Kylie finds her photography as an outlet that allows her to focus on one thing and lose herself in the creative process. She has always been fascinated by the small details in nature, and with photography and scanography her passion for capturing these images has been sparked.

Observing how the dried seaweed we see on land becomes beautiful and elegant when in the water, Kylie was curious to see how an earthbound plant might respond. "The Depths" is the first work in this series of exploration.

Available: $550
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Lauren Ward It Feels Like Home

"It Feels Like Home" by Lauren Ward
Acrylic on canvas - Available

When not working in her small art business or part-time as a Special Education teacher, Lauren enjoys spending time on the nearby NSW shoreline and in the bushland of her local area. After a childhood of painting, Lauren returned to art in 2017 and now has a consistent creative practice - where she is excited to see how her style evolves.

Inspired by the coastal Banksias Lauren lives with and grew up looking at, "It Feels Like Home" reflects the way she feels at ease when observing these endemic trees, and how she now finds a desire to embed that love of nature in her own children.

Available: $550
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Lisa Borella Provisional Life2

"Provisional Life" by Lisa Borella
Oil on canvas - Available

Lisa is an abstract painter who works intuitively with colour and landscape. She explores the memories and spaces, reflecting on landscapes internally, and transforming and loosening them into their own experience. Lisa has spent the last four years running a small art studio in Brunswick.

"Provisional Life" is a bold, textural piece, inspired by nature - both inner and outer.

Available: $550
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Margo Carlon Cattle At the Dam II

"Cattle at the Dam II" by Margo Carlon
Acrylic on canvas - Available

Initially basing her creative practice pursuing stunning pencil portraits, Margo has been drawn to vibrant semi-abstract pieces full of colour, quirky lines and whimsy. This new direction reflects her true nature, and she loves sourcing fun, loveable subjects that brighten our days.

Margo often drives to new locations, photographing and sketching the animals she sees in the landscape. Having grown up in the country and with a love for the outdoors, the humble Australian farm animal has proven to be an ideal subject for her art ventures.

Available: $550
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Marnee Watt Reflection

"Reflection" by Marnee Watt
Rug tufting, stretched on canvas - Available

After 20 years in fashion, Marnee found herself uninspired and in need of a new outlet. She discovered Rug tufting in October 2020 and fell instantly in love with the medium - finding herself again inspired by the textures and colours. Marnee shares this passion with her sister, and though her sister lives in Perth, they continue to collaborate closely and creatively.

Challenging herself to capture more details in her chosen medium, "Reflection" looks back on 2020, in both keeping our heads above water as well as reflecting on our past and experiences.

Available: $550
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PAULAKOS Summer at the Beach

"Summer at the Beach" by Paula Kos
Oil on linen canvas - SOLD

Living on the sunshine coast, Paula has a love of portraiture and figurative art, and a passion for an impressionist style. Starting a fresh new canvas takes her to a special place, full of the quiet excitement of the creative journey ahead.

"Summer at the Beach" shares an iconic scene that holiday makers and locals alike enjoy across the many beaches of Australia - the epitomised Aussie values of sun, sea and sand. This piece depicts the last swim of the day, and the rush to enjoy another dip before the sun sets.

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Poppy Key Follow Your Dreams2

"Follow Your Dreams" by Poppy Key
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Originally from London, Poppy has now lived in Australia for twenty years. Unable to continue working as a fashion stylist due to covid, Poppy started painting again as a form of therapy and meditation - and hasn't looked back, now feeling like she's finally where she always should have been.

Poppy says her drip technique is risky in itself as there is only so much you can do to control the flow of the paint, though she loves the perfect imperfections in this pieces, and enjoys breaking the colour 'rules' as she works intuitively. For Poppy this piece is full of positive energy and good vibes.

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Salvatore Dibartolo Lady

"Lady" by Salvatore Dibartolo
Acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Describing himself as someone a little impulsive who always follows his instincts, Salvatore enjoys the lessons learnt as he has taken several leaps of faith. One such leap of faith was heading to Italy where he spent five years living in Rome. Surrounded by so much history and beauty, his creativity began to return after a long hiatus. After being stood down from work as a flight attendant in 2020, Salvatore has been proactively practicing art again with a vengeance.

"Lady" represents a new exploration of the art form of solid shapes and blocks of colour for Salvatore, as he is more usually drawn to chaos of creating mixed media abstracts. Created with a single continuous line and some of Salvatore's favourite colours, he feels this painting speaks for itself.

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Scott Barker I Am You

"I Am You" by Scott Barker
Watercolour on paper - SOLD

Teaching himself art and drawing from a young age, Scott has always enjoyed studying and exploring a variety of art skills and techniques, though he has only recently started putting himself out into the art world. He is drawn to the expression of human emotional portraits, and finds watercolour's spontaneity a good reflection to our self-expression and emotions.

"I Am You" reflects the duality of the self. Our ego-mind formed of learned experience, emotions, perceptions and suffering, and the true self of trust, love, compassion, courage and strength. Finding the middle ground between the two allows us inner peace, learning to let go and embrace the light, the love.

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Tulika Das Drifting

"Drifting" by Tulika Das
Acrylic with texture medium on canvas - Available

Tulika lives and breathes art every day, and considers herself privileged to call herself an artist, though she is also a professional technical writer, which she has been doing ever since she came to Australia. Tulika's considers the romantic presentation of her subjects through texture and colour to be what tugs at a collectors heart, and has been enjoying her art journey since its frenetic start in 2018.

The serene expression and posture in "Drifting" takes Tulika to a relaxing holiday, floating on her back on the water with open arms for hours. The third in her 'drifting' series, it evokes serenity and holiday memories.

Available: $550
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