Winner Calleen Art Award 2023 Announced

Published on 09 October 2023

Calleen Art Award Winner 2023 Marie Hagerty

The Cowra Regional Art Gallery is pleased to announce the winner of the CALLEEN ART AWARD 2023 is Canberra based artist Marie Hagerty for her painting Ritual Habitual 2, 2023, acrylic and oil on canvas. This exciting acquisitive painting prize worth $25,000 was open to artists across Australia. The CALLEEN ART AWARD was founded by Cowra art patron and collector Mrs. Patricia Fagan OAM in 1977 as a progressive acquisitive art award with the aim to foster creativity and excellence in the visual arts and enhance the cultural life of Cowra and the surrounding region.

The announcement took place in conjunction with the launch of the Calleen Art Award 2023 finalist’s exhibition on Saturday night 7 October 2023 with 90 visitors present including many of the 57 finalists in attendance. Guest speakers for the opening were Cr Ruth Fagan Mayor, Cowra Shire Council who officially opened the Calleen Art Award 2023 exhibition, Jenni Fagan representing the Calleen Trust, and the Award Judge Kon Gouriotis OAM, Curator, Art Writer and Editor of the magazine Artist Profile.

Judge’s comments

“Judging any award is difficult especially when there is a strong field of finalists. This year’s Calleen Art Award is no exception. The quality of early and established artists in the Award is noticeable. The range of both figurative and non-figurative works is stimulating ΜΆ as is the insightful dialogue with the classics, and with early and late modern painters.

One work stood out that kept me wanting to know more. This work has presence. It is a bold and raw painting. A painting that is both confident and vulnerable. It has a rich dialogue with the classics and moderns without announcing it. The poetic ambiguity between the figurative and non-figurative kept my attention, as did the painting’s play with space and time. Ritual Habitual 2 by Marie Hagerty will make an outstanding contribution to the Cowra Regional Art Gallery collection.” Kon Gouriotis OAM.

Artist’s Statement

“I examine the matter of life through paintings, collage and drawing that incorporate the curvilinear surface forms of biomorphic abstraction, together with increasing references to figurative imagery suffused with erotic emphasis. My works are constantly shifting between figuration and abstraction creating alluring and refined hybrid-images that seem to be arrested in movement, space and time. My influences are varied and idiosyncratic mingling references to historical and contemporary art of the Bauhaus to the Kama Sutra’s nebulous forms, as well as the emotionally raw works of Francis Bacon and Auguste Rodin; a sensual line-up, conjuring an ambiguous heartbeat deep within”. Marie Hagerty.

When visiting the exhibition visitors are welcome to vote for their favourite painting in the Calleen People’s Choice Award 2023 (non-acquisitive). The winning artist will be announced at the close of the exhibition and will be awarded $1,000, courtesy of the Gallery Advisory Committee and the Friends of the Gallery. More information is available at , facebook or Instagram.

The exhibition continues to Sunday 19 November 2023 at the Cowra Regional Art Gallery, 77 Darling Street, Cowra. Open: Tues – Sat, 10am – 4pm and Sun 10am – 2pm. Admission free. Cowra Regional Art Gallery is a cultural facility of the Cowra Shire Council.