Strand Ephemera 2017 winner announced

Date published: 28 July 2017

Strand Ephemera: the North’s Sculpture Festival, was officially launched at the Rockpool tonight.

Winner of the highly contended $10,000 Award for Artistic Excellence was announced by David Zammitt, Manager Glencore Port Operations.

This year’s winning artwork is Visceral Bodies by Gold Coast-based artist Erica Gray.

Providing some insight into his selection, judge Robbie Rowlands said, “Erica’s work, Visceral Bodies encourages us to reflect on the fragile aquatic worlds that are currently under threat. Each form as a synthesis of the real can only capture part of the experience. They have the richness of colour, translucency and form, but I’m sure with direct experience they can only attempt to mimic. This being said, Erica’s skills as a maker and how well she has orchestrated the gesture in the site entices us to be part of this world, within this world, so that even as an ‘interpretation’ it opens up a conversation that allows us to consider notions of fragility and ephemerality in what we possibly take for granted.”

Mr Rowlands also named local artist Harriet Geater-Johnson’s artwork Transient Cabinet as the runner up and awarded a special commendation to the two schools projects – Bowen State High School’s work with artist Tanya Coventry entitled This Heart Within Me Burns, and Pimlico State High School’s Legacy of Lanterns.

Robbie Rowlands is a Melbourne-based artist, academic and lecturer at RMIT in Melbourne. He has joined Strand Ephemera in Townsville this year as both a judge and commissioned artist. His work Light Falls can be seen along the Strand near the Rockpool.

Community and Cultural Development Committee chair Cr Colleen Doyle was thrilled with the launch which has kick-started 10 days of art, workshops, tours and performances.

“Strand Ephemera has attracted 138,000 people to The Strand in past years to see this incredibly high calibre of artworks from local, national and international artists,” Cr Doyle said.

“To offer an outdoor gallery as beautiful as our foreshore is a rare thing and I encourage residents to come and see the wide variety of artwork on offer and to get involved in one of the 170 workshops that will be held over the next 10 days.

“I congratulate Erica on winning this year’s Award for Artistic Excellence.”

The public is invited to have their say in the wilson/ryan/grose lawyers’ People’s Choice Award.

Votes can be lodged at the Strand Ephemera Information Desk near the Picnic Bay Surf Lifesaving Club or at Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, until the end of the exhibition.

The winning work will receive a $2,000 cash prize.

Strand Ephemera is free to attend and runs through to Sunday 6 August 2017.

For more information visit

Strand Ephemera major sponsor is Glencore.

Competing artists in the 2017 event were:

  • Banana Splits (Bernadette Boscacci & Sharon Kitching)
  • Pamela Lee Brenner & Johannes Muljana
  • India Collins
  • Tanya Coventry & Bowen State High School
  • Robert Crispe
  • Tom Emmett
  • Marion Gaemers & Lynnette Griffiths
  • Harriet Geater-Johnson
  • Carla Gottgens
  • Erica Gray
  • Jane Hawkins, Rhonda Payne & Sally Munns
  • John Heard
  • Geraldine Hermann & Pimlico State High School
  • Joy Heylen
  • Jan Hynes
  • Alison McDonald
  • John Nesirky
  • Katri Pekri & Alide Zvorovski
  • Fiona Quin
  • Cameron Rushton
  • MJ Ryan Bennett
  • Lance Seadon
  • Vanessa Stanley
  • Sue Tilley
  • Christopher Trotter

Commissioned artists:

  • Garth Jankovic with William Ross State High School
  • & Annandale Christian College
  • Dancenorth
  • Robbie Rowlands
  • Caitlind r.c. Brown & Wayne Garrett
  • Dan Wallwork
  • Scott Wade