Reflections on EMSLA

by Gina Kalabishis, Winner of EMSLA 2017


Every year since 2014 I have been a finalist for the EMSLA, and expectations of winning is always a momentary little thought of well maybe?…….However I have found that my true happiness is that a wider audience can experience the work, and I feel honoured to be shown amongst other still- life enthusiastic and
passionate painters with all the various unique interpretations using the magic of the painting medium.

I have always found the award to be welcoming and always a pleasure to work with the dedicated people of EMSLA bringing these paintings together from all over Australia, this special genre in Art that says so much of the human condition.

Not only that it is the most prestige’s still-life award in Australia, but its truly the passionate patrons of the Arts like Dr Mal Eutick that have dedicated over 13 years to making this prize become a celebrated Australian cultural award.

Winning the EMSLA in 2017 I was just delighted and that the highly regarded judges led by critic and art historian John McDonald thought it resonated and was worthwhile. It took awhile to digest this piece of news, it was an unforgettable emotional moment. The painting is a very emotive and intimate visual language made with the wonder of paint with the feeling of love accompanied in unison with the sweetness and strong presence of music. It’s a nice confirmation that the artwork is communicating, and giving pleasure to an audience. I wish it reflects on what is Australian still-life painting today - always moving forward, ever changing and adapting.

The financial support has given my life as an artist to be confident and bold with the work and now with no time constraints, it’s created a driven dedication and confirmed my feeling and reasoning of having this life to create art to share with others- its given me precious freedom.

The support has been beneficial to better resource my studio with equipment and materials, even the simple things - a small fan and a padded foot mat to be able to stand and work 8-10 hour days. The support allows me to explore new opportunities without trepidation and to gain exposure for more people to see my work.
It has also greatly assisting me to realise and work towards my next solo show “Bundanon Floor to sky’ series in which Passing Pulpit Rock - Distant Sky (after Nick Cave & Else Torp) being the first painting in this series. This will be exhibited in July this year at Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne.


2017 Finalists

Congratulations to Gina Kalabishis, winner of EMSLA 2017, for her work: Passing Pulpit Rock - Distant Sky (After Nick Cave and Else Torp).


Here is the list of all the finalists on show at Project Contemporary Artspace for EMSLA 2017.

  • Marina Strocchi
  • Leigh Schoenheimer
  • Angus Nivison
  • Tom Carment
  • Rick Matear
  • Tony Irving
  • Amanda Penrose Hart
  • Philip Reuter
  • Zai Kuang
  • Thornton Walker
  • Suzanne Archer
  • John Bokor
  • Arthur Apanski
  • Kathryn Fenton
  • Josh Foley
  • Chelsea Gustafsson
  • Ben Fayle
  • Amber Carbury
  • Ebony Truscott
  • Kerry Johns
  • Craig Waddell
  • Julie Poulsen
  • Laurie Mossuto
  • Jenni Catt
  • Heidi Yardley
  • Kalpa Jadeja
  • Elisa Hall
  • Pam Tippett
  • Thomas Thorby-Lister
  • Madeleine Winch
  • Lisa Fahey
  • Brett Sperling
  • Leanne Halls
  • Robert Clinch
  • Louise Thomas
  • Brenda Runnegar
  • Stuart Smith
  • Helen Minogue
  • Ashley Frost
  • Paul Higgs
  • Craig Handley
  • Rosemary Valadon
  • Anh Nguyen
  • Siân McNabney
  • Polly Wells
  • Andrea Huelin
  • Barry Fitzpatrick
  • Jacqueline Butterworth
  • Ann Musgrave
  • Gina Fishman
  • Christine Aspland
  • Susan Shortridge
  • Anne-Marie Zanetti
  • Nathan Taylor
  • Alison Mitchell
  • Sylvia McEwan
  • Peter Griffen
  • Nickie Belbeck
  • Angela Chauvin
  • Seabastion Toast
  • Julie Cane
  • Mirra Whale
  • Sue MacLeod-Beere
  • Linda Greedy
  • Gina Kalabishis
  • Matilda Michell
  • Robert Fenton & Deb Mostert
  • Ivan Macarambon


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