Friday, February 17, 2012

Glover Prize Finalist


BIG NEWS the painting Graham submitted to the Glover Prize competition was accepted as a finalist - check the website he's number 33 (it's alphabetically listed). This is HUGE. The Glover is Australia's most prestigious landscape prize and to make it into the finals is quite a feat. Also impressive is making it into the finals on his first submission!!

He found out at work when one of his colleagues came into the coffee room as asked him  "Your Graham Sanders right - not Saunders?"  "What do you know about the Glover prize?"  Graham looked at her and asked - "what do YOU know about the Glover prize?" and she smiled and said. "I know you need to look at their web site".  She had been checking the site as her husband had also put an entry in. His entry made the finals too.

Graham went to his desk and checked the website, when he saw his name on the list of finalists, his hands started shaking as he struggled to absorb the enormity of what he was looking at. Three independent judges each experts in their fields, had judged his painting worthy of being in the finals. What an honour. He was a delightful mess for the rest of the day. Not being able to concentrate on anything. He wasn't truly convinced it was real until his letter arrived a couple of days later.  He floated for a week, saying it all seemed a bit surreal. One of his colleagues pointed out he's on a list with some very impressive talent including an artist who's won the Archibald. We both commented it was a shame it was that his Dad and my Mom weren’t here to share in the excitement. It's been quite an emotional roller coaster.

The exhibition opening and winner announcement is at the “by invitation only” cocktail party, which is on the 9th March. This is the moment one waits their whole life for, the opportunity to rub shoulders with one’s peers and revel in knowledge your lifetime of artistic efforts is appreciated.

Winner announced, and celebration completed, the next day the exhibition opens to the public (the 10th March) and is available for viewing until the 13th.The down side to this wonderful honour? It occurs the night before Ilea's wedding, when we'll be in Adelaide. I became "tigress wife" determined we could attend both wonderful events. I organising flights and accommodation, no easy challenge as Evenadale is booked out with the comment most often heard
       “We have nothing available, That’s the weekend of “The Glover” you know.”

After spinning my tale, husband in the finals, just found out – flying back –etc. etc. a lovely woman gave me her Mother's number. Although we wished we could fly back the same night, the best I could do was have us fly over on the 9th in time for the cocktail party then back at 6:00 am the next day. The morning of Ilea's wedding day. OOOhhhh living on the edge, but I got it organised. Whew, all done and dusted.

Or was it?  After the excitement of believing we could attend both momentous events, and several days of thinking it through, Graham decided he didn't want to miss any of the magic of his daughter's wedding. So, back into organisation mode. Deep breath - When cancelling the room at "Mom's” she seemed horrified.
     “But what if you win?” she asked.

     “We’ll come and collect the prize on the 12th” I said cheerily.

I had insisted we fly back for a day to celebrate his acceptance in the exhibition, viewing his painting hanging amongst those of his peers, safely a couple of days after the wedding. After all, we'd already paid for the flights, and I believe this personal milestone for him, is one not to be missed.  It's just a pity it's all happening on the one weekend.

Today Feb 17th – Well, we've delivering the painting. It was a weird surreal feeling to do it. I am sad to see the painting go as to me the subtle blending of colours he's used in his mountain scape is an amazing rendition of nature. I can only imagine what he could be going through in his head and heart at this time. After all, the entree must be available for sale at the exhibition, so he’s really saying goodbye.

Time seemed to be out of sync as we drove there, like everything was in slow motion. However soon enough we arrived, and it seemed like the Universe smiled at us as the rain had eased as we drove North. This must be a good omen right? Delivering the painting without having to worry about the rain?

We were delighted to note how charming the village of Evendale is. Tiny cottages on narrow tree lined streets, all very picturesque. Glover banners adorning the streets. How exciting. We dropped the painting at the Antiques Shop, which for me was a bit anticlimactic as the woman behind the counter wasn't particularly friendly or chatty, actually seeming rather uninterested in the whole thing. She told Graham to take his painting upstairs where he rested it against the wall with the others already there. We went back down the stairs and out the door.  Kind of felt flat to me.  However, we kept our feeling of subdued excitement, and drove on to where the exhibition is to be held, wandered around the statue of John Glover then headed home.

I wondered if I was driving Graham crazy as I made him pose for photos. First as he packaged it up, then as we delivered it, by the banner, then the statue.  I think they would have gotten along, maybe that's an omen eh?

Now it’s up to fate and the judges. (And the people of course for the people’s choice) Fingers crossed.