South West art competition winners revealed from 700 entries

Ailish DelaneyBunbury Herald
Dan Kus, Mike Baker, Sheree Dohnt and Cody Bates are pleased to be among the winners of the South West Virtual Arts Spectacular.
Camera IconDan Kus, Mike Baker, Sheree Dohnt and Cody Bates are pleased to be among the winners of the South West Virtual Arts Spectacular. Credit: Ailish Delaney / South Western Times

With more than 700 entries in the competition, the South West Virtual Arts Spectacular has finally announced the winning artists from around the region.

Bunbury residents Sheree Dohnt, Dan Kus and Mike Baker all took first place in the over 18 categories for 2D portraits and paintings, 3D objects and sculptures and photography respectively.

Ms Dohnt said her self-portrait was a way to capture the time she spent in isolation.

“I always try to think about emotion and how to capture it in a painting through artistic devices, like colour and line,” Ms Dohnt said.

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“In my regular practice I try to explore ideas about mental health, especially being a mum, and being in isolation during that time it really challenges you.

With my artwork I feel like a lot of people have had this moment in isolation and just that feeling of anxiety has been heightened, so I think that’s what I’ve tried to capture.

Sheree Dohnt

Mr Kus said his work revolved around an old university project and he was surprised to have won.

Mr Baker said he was humbled and excited about his photograph, Fingers, winning.

“I called it fingers because when you have a look at it right in the centre it looks like fingers crossing over and that’s why I thought it was appealing and there’s amazing colours in it,” Mr Baker said.

Cody Bates was awarded the People’s Choice Award after his photograph, Afternoon Delight, received 299 likes in the SWVAS Facebook group.

Mr Bates said he took his photograph at the basalt rocks in Bunbury and spent three days trying to get the perfect shot.

I haven’t entered a competition before so I’m stoked to come out with the People’s Choice.

Cody Bates

The primary school age group saw Taylah Sunderland (photography), Katalina Chalker (3D) and Grace O’Neill (2D) take out the first place awards.

For the high school category, entries by Max McGregor (photography), Naomi Carlson (3D) and Rosie Rotheram (2D) won first place.

The winning artworks will be on display at Bunbury Regional Art Gallery once the gallery reopens on June 29 until July 26.

View the collection of winning pieces below.

2D portraits and paintings

Self Portrait in isolation by Sheree Dohnt
Camera IconSelf Portrait in isolation by Sheree Dohnt
The unknown by Rosie Rotheram
Camera IconThe unknown by Rosie Rotheram
My art supplies by Grace O'Neill
Camera IconMy art supplies by Grace O'Neill

3D objects and sculptures

Bushranger by Dan Kus
Camera IconBushranger by Dan Kus
Everlastings by Naomi Carlson
Camera IconEverlastings by Naomi Carlson
Banana dog by Katalina Chalker
Camera IconBanana dog by Katalina Chalker


Fingers by Mike Baker.
Camera IconFingers by Mike Baker. Credit: Picture: Mike Baker
The pines by Max McGregor
Camera IconThe pines by Max McGregor
Summer afternoon by Taylah Sunderland
Camera IconSummer afternoon by Taylah Sunderland

People’s choice

Afternoon delight by Cody Bates
Camera IconAfternoon delight by Cody Bates

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