Waverley Art Prize winner, Tannya Harricks

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A painting of Clovelly Beach by freelance artist Tannya Harricks beat over 400 entrants this year to claim the Waverley Art Prize last week.

A former resident of Clovelly, Ms Harricks painted her winning entry as part of a series of paintings she completed on landscape.

“I was more interested in the contrast of the natural rocks which were the orange rocks, [the] concrete, this cliff … all the contrasting shapes and geometry of the place,” Ms Harricks said.

Ms Harricks said painting was her main passion. “I feel very fortunate because I know how many artists enter prizes [and] how many don’t make money from their work,” she said.

Peter Griffin, an artist and judge of the competition, said Ms Harrick’s entry, ‘Clovelly II’, was an evocative painting. “The energy, the colour, the composition, the sense of authority in the way she works … it’s a positive painting [and] makes you feel good,” he said.

“It evokes the subject matter so well – it’s Clovelly – you feel like you’re by the sea. You can see that she has got knowledge.”

Waverley Mayor Sally Betts hailed the event as a career launching pad for burgeoning artists.

“Supporting art is very important to Waverley Council and we’re fortunate that so many local artists contribute to this and many other art projects that we have,” she said.

“I don’t have to tell you about the standard of the work because I think you just have to look around the room and you will see that standard.”

Ms Betts said the award-winners had often participated in prestigious art competitions such as the Archibald Prize.

Sponsored by Council, the awards ceremony was held at the Waverley-Woollahra Arts School.

Clovelly II and 145 selected paintings will be on display at the Waverley-Woollahra Arts Centre until July 14, when they will be moved to Waverley Library for two weeks.