Moree artist James Kearns wins open category of 2017 Outback Archies

WINNER: ‘The Shearer’ by James Kearns took out the open category of the 2017 Outback Archies art prize and exhibition.
WINNER: ‘The Shearer’ by James Kearns took out the open category of the 2017 Outback Archies art prize and exhibition.

Moree artist James Kearns has taken out first place in the Open Art section of the 2017 Outback Archies.

Kearns’ work, ‘The Shearer’ was announced as the winner of the Open Art section of the art prize and exhibition, which was opened in Coonamble at the end of September.

According to Kearns, ‘The Shearer’ is a self-portrait with a difference, inspired by his wool shed studio at the time.

“It’s a self-portrait but putting myself in someone else’s shoes,” he said. “It’s using myself as the reference for a figure and while I’m painting thinking of the subject, which in this case is a shearer.”

James Kearns' self-portrait, 'The Shearer' was inspired by his wool shed studio at the time.

James Kearns' self-portrait, 'The Shearer' was inspired by his wool shed studio at the time.

As well as a cash prize, Kearns has won a solo exhibition at Studio MV in Sydney.

He said the win is great recognition and encourages all artists to enter prize competitions.

“As an artist you predominantly work solo, so when you’re recognised by being including in a show, even if you don’t win, it’s a pat on the back,” he said.

Now in its seventh year, the Archies attracted 140 entries from all over the region.

A total of 65 entries were successful for exhibition across the four categories of Open Art (painting, etching, sketching, pastel), Photography, Ceramics and Sculpture, all exploring the theme of Legends and Landscapes.

The popular exhibition and art prize is all about celebrating the colour, creativity and spirit of communities across the Far West.