Local Artist Seabastion Toast has been awarded the $10,000 D’arcy Doyle prize for Landscape for the second time. Her painting “The burn” was selected unanimously by the judges, who also awarded her highly commended in the portraiture category.
Toast explains that, like many Australians, she was deeply affected by the horrors and mass devastation of the 2019/2020 bushfires that ravaged wildlife, townships and communities across the country. “The recovery of these communities and wildlife areas has been exacerbated and eclipsed by the covid pandemic” she states. “I wanted to create an artwork that somehow responds to this ongoing crisis.” After her bush home was threatened by an out of control burn last winter, she decided to channel the experience into her art. “Fire itself is such an intangible subject,” she muses, “it is equally entrancing, beautiful, necessary and, at the same time, absolutely terrifying”. In the same way humankind can never fully tame this element, Toast accepts the challenge of transcribing something so ethereal into paint. “For me, painting is about a process, the journey is of greater value than the product.
Seabastion Toast last won the Landscape award in 2014. Since graduating with a BA of Visual arts in 2000 from Southern Cross University, she has received many accolades for her work including a double win of the Hangers award and Highly Commended at the prestigious Glover prize for Landscape in 2019. She is represented by Anthea Polson Art Gallery on the Gold Coast. The D’arcy Doyle Art Awards, which honors the legacy of one of Australia’s finest landscape artists, is on display in Mudgeeraba Town Hall until July 4.