Text by Dockland News
Winners of the 2021 MSC Maritime Art Prize have been announced in front of an international audience via a live-streamed event at Dockland’s iconic Mission to Seafarers Victoria (MtSV).
The prestigious Maritime Art Prize and Exhibition competition has been hosted at the heritage-listed building for 19 years running, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year went online with winning entries on display at MtSV in early November.
Judges shortlisted 80 artworks from a highly competitive field – including a greater number of interstate artists than previous years – all of whom responded to the theme The Relationship of Humanity to the Sea.
The judges said the theme was “wonderful” for the exhibition and remarked that the artists, as always, embraced it by presenting their own “diverse and thought-provoking” twists.
“Laurel’s work provokes a range of emotions and interpretations,” the judges said about the top-prize-winning painting, Lest We Forget, by Laurel Foenander.
“She has captured the beautiful and yet horrifying colours of the skies during the bushfires and the desperation of fleeing and not knowing when, or if, they could return.”
While Ms Foenander took home $10,000 for the Mediterranean Shipping Company Maritime Art Award, while $5000 was awarded to Debra Marshall for her pen on paper drawing, Sea Forest, which won the Port Phillip Sea Pilots Best Traditional Maritime Art Award.
“Sea Forest embraced the connection between nature and the man-made built environs,” the judges said.
“The natural, and inevitable, decay of the pier that is home for marine life was also once a pier for fishing and sea traffic.”
The Nevile & Co Runner-Up Award was given to Don Braben for his oil painting, Once Were Lifesavers, earning $2000 for his depiction of life jackets and a life ring in an old dingy that had “seen better days”.
“Don’s work conjured for us strong sentiment of the fear, sorrow, waiting and loneliness that some people have been feeling during this pandemic,” the judges said about his painting.
Finally, the Gulf Agency Company Emerging Artist Award and $1000 prize went to amateur artist, Antoinette Inguanti for her paining, Men at Work, depicting a pilot boarding a vessel.
Judges said the painting portrayed the “dangers of the pilots as they go about their daily work” •
View the exhibition online until November 14: