The Blue Mountains City Library hosted the third year of Live Life! Portrait Competition for young adults (ages 15 – 21yrs). Coinciding with NSW Seniors Week, the competition entries could be of any medium, and needed to have a Blue Mountains senior citizen as the subject of the portrait. This project attempts to connect generations through art and dialogue, celebrating the precious wisdom and experience of elders in our community.
The winners have been announced:
WINNER – Melinda Allan (aged 15) and RUNNER-UP – Bethany Church. Congratulations to both winners! Our judge this year was local artist Beata Geyer (www.beatageyer.com). Beata is a Polish-Australian contemporary visual artist working in various media including installation, painting, photography and digital art.
Below are images of the winning works, accompanied by the written component of the competition, the artist statements.
At the age of 79, Alec Bannerman has been a resident of Yellow Rock for 43 years.
Yellow Rock, along with Winmalee and Springwood, where devastated with the destruction of the October fires leaving over 200 houses destroyed or damaged. Luckily Alec’s house was not damaged but many of the houses along his street weren’t as fortunate.
Many people had to leave their memories in ashes and move to places to live. Alec, along with his church, found ways to contact these people whom had been heavily impacted. He listened and provided food hampers, emergency money, counselling and comfort to those in need. Alec has shared and felt the community’s pain and is still looking for ways to help.
I look up to Alec for his wise, kind and patient heart and the dedication to his community. I believe Alec’s story should be told and be heard by our generation.
– Melinda Allan
I have chosen Doug Reed for my portrait for my ‘Live Life’ entry. I chose the medium of digital art. I also took the photo while Doug was between shifts.
Doug Reed has been a member at Winmalee Rural Fire Brigade since 1976. He has received a national medal with 2nd clasp and a long service medal for 30 years of service to the RFS. He recently invested his time and strength to the September Winmalee fires and the Lithgow fires. This photo was taken when Doug was having breakfast after doing a 8hr night shift during the tragic Winmalee fires.
Doug likes hiking around New Zealand and Tasmania. He also works as a umpire for paintball competitions and games. As a child I grew up with Doug’s crazy life stories with my parents. Hearing these stories enspired me to join the RFS. I have recently became a full fledged volunteer firefighter, Doug has help train me to get where I am now.
– Bethany Church