The first rains have fallen, the year is wrapping up, and Katherine is beginning to slow down as the dry season break approaches. But here at the cultural centre, our team have a few year-end creative flourishes still in the works.
Last week, we opened the 48th annual Katherine Prize exhibition, and hundreds of people showed up to celebrate Northern Territory visual artists. After the judges had their say, it was Sonia Martignon's painting On the Edge that took the Julie and Geoff Newton Major Prize and $5,000. Her striking image of a burnt tree, rich in shadows and dry season foliage, left a strong impression on everyone.
"It's almost as if you can feel the heat coming off the landscape, smell the smoke in the air and hear the crunch of the dried leaves," remarked Kate Land, award judge and curator at the Northern Center for Contemporary Arts.
The second award, sponsored by Katherine Town Council, was presented to Katherine Bradley by Mayor Lis Clark. Her mixed-media work Woodland & Rocks (2 hours down the road) depicted an elaborate and familiar scene touched with gold leaf, pen and ink, and patches of blue sky. Our distinguished judge, the Honourable Hugh Heggie, Administrator of the Northern Territory, had this to say:
"This is a piece we could really take our time to wander through. We were impressed by the execution of the broad range of media used in the painting, and captivated by the details that continued to reveal themselves in this unmistakable Territory landscape. The more time we spent with the work the more we saw."
The 2023 Katherine Prize exhibition, on view through 22 December, features over 80 unique works of art by Northern Territory artists. And on Friday 8 December, it will be joined in our foyer and lobby areas by the annual Godinymayin Holiday Art Market. For the two weeks before Christmas, our centre will be filled with original art, crafts, jewellery, books, textiles, hand-made objects, ceramics, and more.
"It's all part of our plan to turn Godinymayin into the most creative holiday shopping destination ever," said Venue and Event Coordinator Bree Lennard. "There will be interesting things from Borroloola to Lajamanu to Rapid Creek-perfect local stocking stuffers to cross off your list."
And if you want to laugh your way into next year, we've got a 1 December stand-up trifecta-one gig featuring three touring comedians. Headliner Mickey Wilson brings his new show ""Did you just assume my personality?" to the Godinymayin stage, joined by support acts Andy Ho (better known as the Internet's Hoey Farmer) and Darwin's Scott McGowan.
Or maybe you're after a case of the Blues? Adelaide singer-songwriter Mike Elrington returns to Katherine on Saturday 9 December on his 2023 Territory Tour. He's bringing his explosive guitars and rich gravel voice, so expect a sonic boom on the cultural centre stage as the wet season moves in.
Finally, there is such thing as a free lunch-on Friday 8 December at Godinymayin. Our team and Board of Directors invite artists, educators, and creative and civic leaders from across the Big Rivers Region to join us for a meal-and a special inside look at the infrastructure expansion happening around us. We will show off progress on the Territory's newest amphitheatre, the sweeping rooflines of our cafe and outdoor deck, the new office annex, a greatly expanded retail shop, and the future home of the Northern Territory Ceramics Centre.
Information about all of these upcoming happenings can be found on the Godinymayin website. Soon the monsoon rains will cover the skies and sweep across the Top End, and life will slow down for the wet season. Before that lull, our team invite you to finish 2023 with a creative frenzy of art, music, comedy, food and conversations.
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