This year's entries in the annual Pix from the Stix photography competition have made second-time judge, Lawrence Furzey pretty happy. Especially his choice for the major prize - A Dance with Colour by Shannon Richmond.
"This is exactly what I was looking for this year," Lawrence said. "The last 12 months and more have been particularly hard on everyone. I really wanted to see some excitement, happiness and colour reach out and grab me this year. This beautiful image by Shannon Richmond has done this and more."
Although the competition has once again hit a COVID roadblock, forcing the Gloucester Gallery opening/winners reveal to be cancelled for the second year in a row, organisers are pleased with the number of entries.
"There were 71 images from 26 photographers," co-organiser, Georgia Britton said.
Last year, the exhibition went wholly online due to COVID. This year, Georgia and fellow organiser, Rachel Saunders decided to hold a hybrid event, with the images appearing both online and in the gallery.
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Originally, the plan was to reveal the images online for a week before the winners were announced at the exhibition opening on Friday July 16. With the resurgence of COVID limiting attendee numbers and the Sydney-based judge's inability to attend due to lockdown, organisers made the quick decision to shift to a closing event, with the winners revealed online on July 16.
"We are really happy with the way this has panned out - with the images being judged and viewable online before the gallery exhibition," Rachel said. "This has meant that we have been able to use generic printing to make it cost effective so everyone is able to enter and still maintain a consistent and uniform look across the entire gallery."
In the past, entrants framed their work however they wanted - this year, Georgia and Rachel decided to offer the printing as part of the entry fee.
"A big thank you to Joolz from Killer Graffix, who has worked with us to bring the images from the screen to the gallery walls. And of course to all our sponsors we are so grateful for without them there would be no Pix at all."
2021 Pix from the Stix winners:
Absence of Colour - 1st When In Isolation by Shannon Richmond; 2nd Under Water by Tia Marsh; Highly Commended (HC) Reflecting Mistro by Ella Hudson
Culture: 1st Gone Fishing by Karen Bolton; 2nd Coming Together by Tara Jennings Culture; HC A Canter In The Creek by Sarah-Jayne Eggins
Faces I have Met - 1st A Dance With Colour by Shannon Richmond; 2nd Teo Visits Gloucester by Deb Murrell; HC Gizmos Gaze by Ella Hudson
Lie of the Land: 1st Barrington Coast Under A Sea Of Fog by Nikki Ellis; Mograni & The Milky Way by Sarah-Jayne Eggins; HC Dawn Of A New Day by Jason Slade
Man Made: 1st Crossing Over by Tia Marsh; 2nd Cold As Steel by Cassie Weekes; HC Service & Sacrifice by Jason Slade
Natural Environment: 1st Tranquillity Jason Slade; 2nd The Serenity Tree by Cassie Weekes; HC Natures Colourful World by Deb Murrell
Not Your Normal Photo - 1st Spark by Sarah-Jayne Eggins; 2nd Worth The Hike by Shannon Richmond; HC If These Trees Could Talk by Cassie Weekes
Junior: 1st A Peaceful Moment by Abbey Keighran (11yrs); 2nd Back Beach by Joseph Starr (14yrs); HC Junior 2nd Reflection by Olivia Dew (16yrs)
"So wonderful to see all the junior entries this year," Georgia said.
"It's very clear that photography has a bright future in our region."
The Pix from the Stix exhibition is currently on at the Gloucester Gallery. The gallery is open Thursday to Sunday from 10am until 4pm and Sunday from 10am until 1pm. Entry is free. The closing event is planned for Sunday August 8 at 11am (COVID permitting).