Caloundra’s Local Contemporary Art Prize

An artist’s emotion-charged tribute to “precious days of presence and deep love”, created as she cared for her partner in his final moments, has earned the Sunshine Coast’s top art prize.

Susan Schmidt was crowned the Local Contemporary Art Prize ‘Best in Show’ winner and recounts why she felt compelled to create the artwork, Breathe (coming up for air).

“The grey mangrove sends Pneumatophores (breathing roots) vertically through the surface to enable the horizontal roots below to breathe,” Ms Schmidt said.

“Through painting I found a sense of catharsis, in giving space and purpose to grief.”

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor, Rosanna Natoli, congratulated Susan on her award.

Breathe, is a magnificent work and a welcome addition to Council’s collection. All works in the exhibition showcase the many talented and varied artists we have in our region,” she said. 

“The art prizes and exhibition play a key role in supporting our local artists and the arts in our wonderful Sunshine Coast.”

Breathe is one of 40 finalist works on show at Caloundra Regional Gallery until May 5, in the Local Contemporary Art Prize 2024: reflections on here & now exhibition.