Bega Art Prize winner an emotional sketch of mother’s final days

Bega Art Prize for painting, drawing and ceramics 2014 winner, Susan Chancellor, with her work titled ‘Sitting with Pattie’.Pambula artist Susan Chancellor has won the prestigious 2014 Bega Art Prize with a series of emotional yet haunting drawings of her mother, Pattie, created in the final weeks of her life.
Nanjing Night Net

Ms Chancellor believed the subject matter of her work, titled “Sitting with Pattie”, drawn before her mother died in a Pambula nursing home 18 months ago, would resonate with many people.

“They are quite raw drawings,” she said.

“They offer a narrative of the time near the end of life when loss of both the body and the conscious mind occurs.

“During the final weeks of my mother’s life I made daily visits to her and, in order to ward off the inevitable feelings of sadness, I began to make drawings of her with portable tools, a small book and a stick of charcoal.

“This prize is a wonderful memorial, a lasting legacy, to Mum,” she said.

Ms Chancellor said the drawings had sat in her studio for quite a while before she sorted them into two groups and decided to have them framed.

Archibald Prize winner and Bega Art Prize judge Nicholas Harding praised Ms Chancellor’s work.

Mr Harding said the winning work was an extraordinary act of familial love and understanding that had captured the awareness of imminent and inevitable loss with a “ruthlessly hungry artistic eye.”

Thursday night’s win in the $5000 Bega Art Prize caps off a big year for Ms Chancellor, who in October won the $15,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize in Moruya with her work “The Family Lounge”.

Ms Chancellor, aged 66, worked as a physiotherapist in Merimbula before taking the leap to become a full-time artist in the mid-1990s.

She also has an undergraduate degree in art and is halfway through a postgraduate degree at the Australian National University in Canberra.

Ann Brosnan’s work titled ‘Dry Dock at St Jean de Luz’ which won the Mailroom Prize.

The Bega Art Prize is the annual flagship fixture on the BVRG exhibition program and is open to artists from across the South East Arts region, showcasing the depth and breadth of regional art.

The $500 Mailroom Prize was awarded to Ann Brosnan, of Millingandi, for her oil on canvas titled “Dry Dock at St Jean de Luz”, reminiscent of the Eden Wharf half a world away.

This is the second time Ms Brosnan has won the Mailroom Prize.

The art prize also includes a $1000 South East Arts People’s Choice Award.

Vote for people’s choice online or view the exhibition at the gallery, which runs until January 24.

The BVRG will close at 4pm on Christmas Eve and reopen on January 2.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.