Chloe Wilder wins 2019 Margaret River Art Prize

Margaret River artist Chloe Wilder said she was pleasantly surprised to discover she had been awarded this year's Margaret River Art Prize, after her work 'Namalayan' was selected by judges to receive the coveted $3000 prize.

"It's fantastic to win in a place where you're from," Wilder told the Mail this week.

"If you go somewhere else you can be a fresh face and have a new start and be a different person, but when everyone knows you and your whole journey, it's just such a beautiful thing to be supported in that way."

"This piece is part of a series about powerful women. I'm trying to combat the idea of false icons, and trying to create a new symbolism for a new age, instead of relying on symbolism from a previous era."

"This painting encompasses the theme of the body of work I am creating at the moment, of which this is one part, they are musings and conversational items with many different roots and facets.

"Usually I have an idea in my head of what I want to create - sometimes it comes from a dream, or a meditation, and it's usually part of a series that I'm working on, so there will be a few pieces in a similar vein. They're then able to tell a story together."

The artist said she tried not to reveal too much about the subjects of her colourful, expressive works.

"I want people not to be focused on who [the subjects] are or swayed by their life, and I want them to look into the ways that the paintings make them feel without a cue.

"It's also the same reason I generally don't name my work, although this one has a name because it came to me in a meditation in a very strong way. It was necessary this time."

The art was judged by a panel of experts, including curator of the City of Bunbury Art Collection, Caroline Lunel, and renowned local artists Sean Atkinson and Paula Cristoffanini.

Wilder will be presented with the 2019 Prize at the 14th annual Margaret River Art Auction, where $6000 worth of artists' awards will be presented including the Augusta & Districts Community Bank ® Cape to Cape Art prize, the Brewhouse People's Choice Award First Prize, the Witchcliffe Ecovillage Sustainability Award, and the Boranup Gallery Exhibition Art Prize.

The auction will be held on Saturday 21 September at the TAFE Winery Campus from 6pm.

Tickets are $25 and include complimentary supper catered for by local TAFE Cookery Students and a free glass of Margaret River Wine. There will be live music, raffles, and a Mark Heussenstamm 'original' door prize.

See more from Wilder and make contact on Instagram at @chloewilderart