City of Karratha

2021 Cossack Art Awards winners announced

19 Jul 2021

More than $80,000 in prize money was awarded across 9 categories at the City of Karratha’s 29th annual Cossack Art Awards in the historic village of Cossack on Saturday, July 17.

Over 270 artworks from across the nation were entered into the prestigious exhibition, which graces the century-old walls of two historic bluestone buildings each July and August.

City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long said the nationally significant exhibition showcased and celebrated the wealth of local artistic talent.

“The Pilbara is renowned as an artistic hub and the high standard of entries this year reflects the level of talented artists in our region,” Cr Long said.

“I would like to congratulate the winners for their achievements and all the entrants for their contribution to another exceptional exhibition.

“I would also like to thank our well-respected judging panel who have dedicated their time and experience to the difficult task of selecting the winning and highly commended works.

“I encourage everyone to visit the exhibition and get involved with the public program of events and activities on offer over the coming weeks.”

Presented by the City of Karratha and principal partner Rio Tinto, the exhibition is open to the public 10am-3pm daily from July 18 to August 8. Admission is free.

Rio Tinto Iron Ore chief executive Simon Trott attended his first Cossack Art Awards and was inspired by the diversity of artistic talent from the Pilbara and from across Western Australia.

“The Cossack Art Awards are a celebration of artistic expression and a demonstration of the way art can bring people together. Initiatives like the Cossack Art Awards contribute enormously to the cultural life, diversity and community spirit of the Pilbara region and beyond.

“On behalf of Rio Tinto, I congratulate this year’s artists who created the tremendous work showcased in this year’s exhibition.

“I encourage people to discover the exceptional works on display and enjoy the activities taking place at Cossack in the coming weeks.”

Visitors to the exhibition can cast their vote in the Pilbara Ports Authority People’s Choice Award, to be announced on August 8.


Best Overall Artwork - $15,000
Sponsor: City of Karratha
Artist: Bronwen Newbury
Title: The Golden Hour
Judges’ comments: This fine painting left no room for doubt for our judges, it was a unanimous decision. This is an evocative landscape with subtle layers, deliberate mark making and it continues an Australian tradition of landscape painting. Esther McDowell-Kickett pointed out that “the bright line at the horizon feels like a cut, a slice through flesh. The line feels alive, like it contains a heartbeat.”

Best Artwork by Pilbara Artist - $10,000
Sponsor: Pilbara Development Commission
Artist: Maywokka Chapman
Title: Ngurra (Home Country, Camp)
Judges’ comments: For our judges, Maywokka is a deserving winner. Her artwork reads very confidently in the way it is constructed. It transmits a sense of urgency through the vigorous application of the paint. It is a purposeful piece that doesn’t intend to get everything uniformly painted; it’s strong, but still feels loose. The judges described the painting as being very dynamic and it made them feel more connected and drawn to it the more they looked at it. 

Painting Pilbara Landscape - $8000
Sponsor: ATCO
Artist: Jayne Rolinson
Title: Sacred Earth
Judges’ comments: Jayne has created a robust and rich artwork, where the power of the landscape dominates the composition. The placement of the horizon is really interesting, and the point of view is ambiguous, suggesting the sky or ocean in a way that is not normally expected. The artist shows a confident use of materials and colours.

North West Flora and Fauna - $8,000
Sponsor: Rio Tinto
Artist: Carrie McDowell
Title: The Cost of Water
Judges’ comments: Carrie’s artwork is really engaging and strong. It is small, bringing you in and directs you to the detail within. It’s intriguing and beautifully executed, with an exciting use of the stitch medium.  The delicate hand work invites you to spend as much time looking at it as it took to make it. This is a clever artwork which wasn’t rushed or made overnight. The judges enjoyed getting close to it to see all of the tiny details. 

Portraits - $8,000
Sponsor: City of Karratha
Artist: Daveena Cox
Title: Lynette, a Natural Competitor
Judges’ comments: Daveena’s artwork is very successful, more about the painting than the portrait itself. It shows an interesting space where the composition sits really nicely. It feels loose but is well thought out and finished.  It evokes the feeling of a meditative state. The artist shows great drawing and painting skills. One of our judges said “it makes me want to paint”. 

Emerging Young Artists - $8000
Sponsor: Citic Pacific Mining
Artist: Rose Barton
Title: Nothing About Us Without Us
Judges’ comments: Our judges really enjoyed the energy of Rose’s painting and the use of the medium. They felt that there is a natural feeling of placement, with no second guessing. This artwork feels loose, it flows, but it’s confident and sure about itself at the same time. It’s not contained.  The artist has let it be known exactly when to stop. Our judges see good things for this artist in the future, she shows great promise.

Painting Open Theme - $8000
Sponsor: Rio Tinto
Artist: Alicia Gorey
Title: Free As A Bird
Judges’ comments: This artist has captured a special moment, an instant in time. Her work feels nostalgic, optimistic and it comes from the heart. This artwork shows great attention to detail, it’s technically well-constructed and resolved. It is a mature work which is soft, homely, content and it tells a story.

Painting by Indigenous Artists - $8000
Sponsor: Garlbagu
Artist: Doreen Chapman
Title: Red Dog
Judges’ comments: Doreen Chapman’s dynamic Red Dog was a unanimous choice for our judges in this competitive category. It is a successful and original depiction of an iconic subject. They found the artwork warm, playful and charming. Technically, they observed that it is emphatically painted with intense brush strokes, interesting soft layers of colour and a bold presence of text.

Works on Paper - $8000
Sponsor: City of Karratha
Artist: Elmari Steyn
Title: Old Town by the Sea
Judges’ comments: Our judges commended the use of traditional techniques to create an intriguing contemporary work with a very successful outcome. This artwork is very detailed and neat, showing a great sense of depth with sophisticated patchwork. One of the judges felt like this artwork was inviting her to jump in and wander around in its space.

The Cossack Art Awards are presented by the City of Karratha with principal partner Rio Tinto; category sponsors Pilbara Development Commission, Pilbara Ports Authority, ATCO, Garlbagu and Citic Pacific Mining; program partners Fortescue Metal Group and Woodside; and event sponsors Powertech, Dunnart, Karratha Signs, IAS Fine Art Logistics, Karratha International Hotel, Cleanaway, Karratha City Shopping Centres, Kennards Hire and Cossack.

For further information about the Cossack Art Awards, please visit and follow the Cossack Art Awards Facebook page.

Images available upon request.