10 September 2019

The Bas opens in Moruya - "What a night for art in Eurobodalla!”

| Ian Campbell
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Indira Carmichael, Basil Sellers, Liz Innes and Ann Sudmalis as the opening ribbon was cut. Photo: Alex Rea.

“Wow! What a night for art in Eurobodalla!”

With those words, Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes kicked off a big night of celebration with the opening of The Bas and the opening of the Basil Sellers Art Prize on Friday evening. Several hundred people packed the space adjacent to the Council Chambers in Moruya.

The Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre, AKA The Bas, is the region’s first purpose-build arts space and will serve as a major platform for local artists and touring shows, with a professional standard 100m2 exhibition space featuring sound-rated moveable walls, as well as video conferencing facilities, kitchen facilities and additional parking.

Winner Anh Nguyen with Mr Basil Sellers AM, “My paintings are a response to the visual excitement found in life; my motifs revolve around daily rhythms, human activity and small moments. I am interested in finding that space between perceptual painting and something more abstract, and using colour relationship and shapes to describe the effects of light.” Photo Alex Rea

Wollongong artist Anh Nguyen’s ‘Jamberoo Morning’ was announced the winner of the Art Prize, which added to the atmosphere of The Bas grand opening.

Ms Nguyen’s acrylic on canvas piece was selected from 28 shortlisted works and will be placed in Mr Sellers’ extensive art collection.

Moruya artist Stephanie McClory won the $5,000 Eurobodalla Prize with her acrylic on canvas piece, ‘Some days are Rough.’ The prize, sponsored by Eurobodalla Council, is acquisitive, with the works added to a new collection that reflects the artistic excellence of Eurobodalla.

Moruya artist Stephanie McClory won the $5,000 Eurobodalla Prize with her acrylic on canvas piece, ‘Some days are Rough.’ McClory said “This portrait captures a raw and vulnerable moment in time. There are some days that are more difficult to get through than others. This emotional piece will mean something different to each individual. Our own life challenges and experiences, and those that impact on the lives of the people we care about, will influence the way the artwork is viewed and interpreted. Some days are rough was painted in honour of someone who is very dear to me.” Photo Alex Rea

The Basil Sellers Art Prize received a record number of entries this year and was open to artists from across NSW and the ACT for the first time. It was judged by independent curator Deborah Clark, the Australian Museum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collection manager Sharni Jones and local artist and Council’s creative arts development coordinator Indira Carmichael.

The judges said it was a difficult but rewarding task to shortlist the works for the Bas centre’s inaugural exhibition.

“It was a pleasure to be involved. Judging a prize such as this is always difficult, especially in an exhibition as varied as this one,” Ms Carmichael said.

“There were a number of outstanding works, but the judges felt that Anh Nguyen did not put a foot wrong. The work is a self-assured captivating piece and thoroughly deserving of the major prize.”

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said the grand opening of the Bas was an incredibly special occasion that marked a turning point for creative arts development in the shire.

“Eurobodalla turned out in droves to see the exhibition and celebrate their new exhibition centre,” she said.

“Both the prize and this incredible centre give our community the opportunity to be exposed to and appreciate quality art, as well as providing an aspirational place for local artists to exhibit their work.”

Gordon Bull and one of the judges Deborah Clark.

“I congratulate all contributing artists to this wonderful prize, and thank Mr Sellers, who made the trip from Sydney to open the building and celebrate with us. We’re so grateful for his continued support in helping to grow our region’s understanding of and engagement with art,” Cr Innes said.

CEO Reg Arts NSW Elisabeth Rodgers and Sharni Jones.

Art lovers can learn more about Ms Nguyen and how she approaches her work when she presents an artist’s talk on Saturday (23 February) from 11 am at the Basil Sellers Exhibition centre.

The community also has the chance to vote for their favourite work in the $500 People’s Choice Award while the exhibition continues at the Bas Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm until Sunday 17 March.

For more information, and to sign up to be a friend of the Bas, visit www.thebas.com.au

The new gallery space.

Businessman and philanthropist Basil Sellers and Clare Sellers at the opening.

Original Article published by Alex Rea on the RiotACT.

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