By Amanda Poland, Head of Visual Arts
Squares is an annual competition and exhibition in its 13th year, held at Strathnairn Arts Gallery. Year 11 student, Maxine Kerruish, won this year's 13-18 years section with her charming self-portrait painting, on the required small standard square format canvas. Minister for the Arts and Cultural Events, Gordon Ramsay announced the winners at Strathnairn on Sunday 8 September, the closing day of the exhibition.
Maxine is a dedicated and passionate Year 11 Visual Arts student who often frequents the mezzanine studio space in the Visual Art room outside class time, however, this painting endeavour was a self-initiated undertaking. Maxine explained why she entered the competition:
“This year, I entered the Strathnairn Arts Squares competition for the second time. I originally entered after being urged by my grandma to do so. My family is very art-oriented, and this competition was a great incentive to do something I enjoy, while also supporting a local gallery.
The idea for my artwork, ‘Me; but smaller’ came from wanting to experiment with composition and white space. Before this, I had not painted a self-portrait since primary school, so this piece was experimental for me. It was also nice to use acrylic paints for a more detailed artwork, as I feel it is something I have neglected to do before.
While the competition was previously held in the Woolshed, this year it was moved to the main gallery.”
Strathnairn Arts is a not-for-profit arts association supported by the ACT Government. It is located on the north-western outskirts of Canberra, and its mission is to cultivate contemporary art, support the practice of established and emerging artists, and present programs to engage diverse communities locally and beyond.
I recommend to all an outing to Strathnairn on their Open Day 21 September, 10 – 4pm.