Barton’s thought-provoking piece, Cossack Jail Cells and Tree Bark, wins at the 30th Cossack Art Awards

Alexander ScottPilbara News
Cossack Art Awards winner Rose Barton.
Camera IconCossack Art Awards winner Rose Barton. Credit: Alexander Scott/Pilbara News/Pilbara News

Karratha resident Rose Barton has taken out the top prize for her thought-provoking piece Cossack Jail Cells and Tree Bark at the 30th Cossack Art Awards.

The awards are a highlight of the Pilbara art scene with the walls of the ghost town brought to life with vibrant paintings from the region’s best artists.

Hundreds of works were submitted in this year’s awards across 10 categories with more than $80,000 of prize money on offer.

The top prize went to Barton for her work Cossack Jail Cells and Tree Bark, which explored the parallel between the harshness of the Cossack jail cells and the natural beauty of white gum trees.

Barton said she was stunned to win and had no words to describe the victory.

Judges Jessyca Hutchens, James Davies and Denise Pepper with winner Rose Barton and mayor Peter Long.
Camera IconJudges Jessyca Hutchens, James Davies and Denise Pepper with winner Rose Barton and mayor Peter Long. Credit: Alexander Scott/Pilbara News

“This work particularly is really relevant to the context of Cossack and it was really special to enter it into this award,” she said.

Barton, who graduated with a fine arts degree in 2018, works in the social services sector.

“My piece stemmed from some research into Cossack itself and around my interpretation of the justice system,” she said.

“This work stemmed from noticing a similarity between the walls of the jail cells and the beautiful white gum trees we have up here and was an opportunity to parallel incarceration against looking at more locally based solutions and how environmental factors influence a person and their likelihood to offend.

“Its about evoking empathy for humans.”

Kav Temperley opened the night with a solo acoustic performance.
Camera IconKav Temperley opened the night with a solo acoustic performance. Credit: Alexander Scott/Pilbara News

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the Cossack Art Awards showcases and celebrates a wealth of local and national talent.

“The Pilbara is renowned as an artistic hub and the calibre of artworks entered this year reflects the rich culture and creativity in our region,” he said.

“I would like to congratulate the 2022 Overall Artwork winner Rose Barton and category winners for their achievements and all the entrants for their contribution to another exceptional exhibition.

“I would also like to thank our well-respected judging panel who have dedicated their time and experience to the difficult task of selecting the winning and highly commended works.”

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