Sarah-Jayne Eggins is the Pix from the Stix photography competition major winner

Sarah-Jayne Eggins' photograph Serenity took out the top prize in the 2020 Pix from the Stix competition.
Sarah-Jayne Eggins' photograph Serenity took out the top prize in the 2020 Pix from the Stix competition.

A photo of a lone tree in the shallows is not only the winner of the Pix from the Stix competition but is somewhat symbolic of how this year has panned out.

Sarah-Jayne Eggins' photo Serenity was been named the overall winner of the 2020 photo competition on Friday, August 14 in a slightly different manner than normal.

The Gloucester Arts and Cultural Council Inc's (GACCI) annual photography competition was one of the many events that had to adjust to the COVID way of doing things.

Instead of planning to run the event with a normal physical gallery opening and month long exhibition at the Gloucester Gallery, this year's organisers opted to hold the entire thing online. Therefore, the winners were announced online.

According to organiser, Georgia Britton holding the competition online helped take the stress out of preparing an entry.

"The world was in a fair bit of turmoil and it was noticeable that people were experiencing a high level of anxiety," Georgia said.

"We felt that if we ran Pix From The Stix online it would do a few good things. It would provide a sense of certainty, when everything else was so uncertain, that Pix would go ahead."

We felt that if we ran Pix From The Stix online it would do a few good things. It would provide a sense of certainty when everything else was so uncertain that Pix would go ahead.

Georgia Britton

Having the competition online meant photographers didn't need to worry about printing and framing their works with many of these types of businesses being impacted by COVID restrictions.

"It would bring beautiful pictures across peoples field of vision, helping them feel positive and spreading some joy," Georgia said.

For the major prize winner Sarah-Jayne, not only did her photo manage to encapsulate the isolation that COVID has brought but her quest to take the photo was also a search for a little bit of peace.

"I left home at 4.30am and travelled to Salamander Bay in search of this tree. When I arrived it was still dark and it was quite an adventure trying to find the right tree," Sarah-Jayne said.

"I started to feel a little disappointed when sunrise turned out to be very underwhelming and a sea mist began to roll in. I am glad that I stayed for a little bit longer and just took in the peacefulness of the place - hopefully I have managed to capture it in this photo."

The Pix from the Stix competition attracted 84 images entered by 31 photographers from around the region and beyond. This year's judge was Lawrence Furzey. The full exhibition can get viewed on the GACCI website at www.gloucester-arts.com.au/pix-from-the-stix.html

The 2020 Pix from the Stix winner are:

Major prize winner: Sarah-Jayne Eggins with Serenity

Absence of Colour: 1st Dale Rabbett with Morning Flight and 2nd Shannon Richmond with A COVID Adventure

Culture: 1st Lisa Norrie with Partners and 2nd Tara Jennings with Drought is Over

Faces I Have Met: 1st Lauren McRae with The Joy of Autumn and 2nd Deb Murrell with Resilience, "Don't be Complacent"

Junior: 1st Olivia Dew (15 yrs) with Byron and 2nd Bree Norrie (13 yrs) with Kind Eye. Highly commended went to Bree Norrie (13 yrs) for The Butterfly Nest.

Man Made: 1st Dale Rabbett with Just A Twist and 2nd Julie Beck with Tip Top Installation

Natural Environment: 1st Sarah-Jayne Eggins with Serenity and 2nd Cassandra Weekes with Ocean Waterfall

Not Your Normal Photo: 1st Shannon Richmond with Under the Stars and 2nd Cassandra Weekes with Treescape Blur

The Lie of the Land: 1st Tara Jennings with Smokey Valley and 2nd Sandra Middlebrook with Shadows Over Kia Ora Lookout

More photos on page 6