Art in a bottle: Ink Art Competition returns to showcase local artists

WORDS: Angela Bacic PHOTOGRAPHY Supplied

  • Ink Gin is excited to support emerging artists with the launch of their 2023 Ink Art Competition
  • Last year’s inaugural competition saw over 400 artists submitting entries to be featured on Ink Art Gin bottles
  • To mark the launch of this year’s competition, 2022 winner Brian Connolly is hosting a pop-up solo exhibition at Husk Farm Distillery from 5 July

The Ink Art Competition is returning for a second year to find budding artists, photographers, and creators to be featured on the limited-edition Ink Art Gin packaging. Following the release of their first crystal-clear gin in 2022, the family-owned distillery had a blank canvas to fill, so it was a natural fit to feature an emerging Australian artist on this label. With the design set to change every year, it makes these bottles highly collectable.

Last year’s competition saw over 400 submissions from across the country. Alongside having their artwork featured on the bottle, this year’s winning artist will also receive $5,000 as well as an exhibition at the gallery at Husk Farm Distillery.

To coincide with the launch of the competition, last year’s winner, Brian Connolly is hosting a pop-up solo exhibition, Face Towards The Sun, at Husk Farm Distillery from Wednesday 5 July. The exhibition is expected to pull in over 10,000 people over the next two months. Brian’s exhibition captures the essence of Byron Bay, tuning into nature and exploring the multi-faceted aspects of self-exploration.

Harriet Messenger from Ink Gin says the competition is a way to support Australian artists by shining a light on some incredible grassroots talent.

“Art has the power to bring people together and spark conversation. Through this competition, we hope to provide a platform for local artists to showcase their skills, gain recognition, and connect with a broader audience,” Messenger says.

“Although art and gin may seem unrelated, both are handcrafted expressions of the maker’s creativity. We want to offer a glimpse into the untold story of those behind the scenes.”

The Sydney-based artist was named the inaugural winner of the competition in 2022 with his piece “Some Place Else”. He drew inspiration froma childhood deep in the Gold Coast hinterland where solitude led to solace and nature became a companion.

Connolly says he explored the way in which we each are linked to one another and to the natural world.

“We are fundamentally connected to nature, and I strive to embody that relationship through my creations. The flowers in my artwork represent a bridge between the natural world and human life and the idea that we all have an internal garden that we must continuously nourish,” Connolly says.

“My works are an invitation for the viewer to discover the multi-faceted aspects of self. It is a quest to find inner peace that I invite the viewer to join so that you can see life from different perspectives. My expressions flow from a childhood deep in the Gold Coast hinterland where solitude led to solace and nature became companion.”

Messenger says they are thrilled to welcome Connolly to Husk Farm Distillery for his upcoming solo exhibition.

“We are thrilled to welcome Brian Connolly for his solo show at our Distillery. His artistic style and captivating creations will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on all those who will be stepping through our cellar doors throughout July and August,” says Messenger.

Ink Gin is excited to supporting local artists through this initiative to help continue to foster artistic innovation and cultivate a vibrant arts scene. To find out more about the 2023 Ink Art Competition head to, https://www.inkgin.com/inkart23