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Panel of Judges ~ Art Unlimited 2018
HANGING ART JUDGE
Graham Cox has been a full-time artist for 40 years, mainly working in oils and pastel. His style of painting has been described as “Romantic Realism”. Graham’s landscape paintings have long enjoyed wide appeal, capturing qualities of the Australian continent and it's islands in a unique way.
Graham was born in Sydney in 1941. After leaving school, he studied painting for two years with Peter Panow, a Russian immigrant who had been trained in the grand studio traditions of St Petersburg before the Revolution, and Paris in the 1920's. This exotic introduction stood him in good stead in the country towns where he worked and painted after leaving Sydney.
It was in Tasmania, following a new employment opportunity, where Graham's artistic aspirations took an exciting turn when he won the inaugural “Namatjira Prize” for artists under 25. However another 13 years were to elapse before he finally became a professional artist.
Since then he has held 66 one-man exhibitions in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland. Over the years Graham Cox has won numerous art prizes, the most recent being “Best in Show” in the Great Lakes, Taree and Singleton Art Competitions, as well as “Grand Champion” at Currabubula Red Cross Art Exhibition.
Two books on his work have been published (“Graham Cox, The Journey Begins” & “The Art of Graham Cox”) spreading his reputation worldwide. Graham and his art have twice been featured on ABC TV’s “730 Report”. He has also been interviewed on NBN television and metropolitan radio.
Graham Cox’s work has also been studied as part of the Faculty of Fine Arts curriculum at the University of Essen, Germany.
In Australia, his paintings have hung as finalists in the “Wynne Prize” (Art Gallery of NSW) on five occasions, enhancing his reputation as one of the country's leading artists. Public and private collections both here and overseas possess fine examples of his work, many being large major commissioned paintings.
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery regularly features Graham teaching his techniques.
Graham lives with his wife Krysten Walker-Cox, a highly-regarded sculptor, on their property near Buchanan in the Lower Hunter Valley, where he continues to create beautiful pictures which delight and elevate the spirit.
Jenet Stewart had an interest in photography and design from her teens - producing, developing and experimenting with film photography in an old school makeshift darkroom. But for many years she followed a different career path as a business manager in the corporate, government and private sectors.
Eventually her passion led her to the decision to study Fine Arts. Her studies catapulted her into the age of digital imaging and she was hooked.
In 2006, she joined a regional newspaper as one of their key photographers, as well as a feature writer for their many advertising clients.
In 2009, Jenet left the newspaper to begin her business, Imajenit Commercial Photography, based in Dubbo. The business grew at a rapid rate and her dream of becoming a full-time photographer became a reality.
Since then, Jenet has photographed extensively throughout regional Australia and her work has been regularly featured in national magazine R.M. Williams Outback.
Jenet has taught photography and graphic design to hundreds of students through Western College, TAFE NSW, as well as privately and to corporate groups. She has photographed many celebrities including Lisa McCune, Damien Leith, Thirsty Merc, Kerry O'Brien and James Reyne.
Jenet is an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Photographers and the Australian Media and Commercial Photographers group, and is an Affiliated Member of the Australian Graphic Design Association. She is the winner of the 2014 Chamber of Commerce Presentation and Marketing Business Award for Excellence.
Jenet Stewart is one of the official judges of the Macquarie Photography Prize and has judged photography for many years throughout NSW.
For Ro Francis, being invited to judge the ceramics category in Art Unlimited has rekindled a lifelong joy of form and technique involved in producing or appreciating a “simple” pot. Ro finds delight in the combination of balance, colour and shape in a form that provides lasting reminders of these elements.
Ro Francis has spent years sharing her love of this art form, teaching both in the studio on her family’s Dunedoo property and at TAFE. Her own skills were enhanced and fine-tuned by workshops given by many talented potters during that time.
Exposure to the wider world of ceramics, through association with internationally respected contemporary potter and writer, Janet Mansfield, opened up a much richer experience for Ro.
Woodfiring, a difficult and demanding process, became her “quality of life” and travel to Japan reinforced her love and respect for ceramic art. The techniques of salt glazing and Anagama firing became consuming and together with colourful Maiolica ware, filled many wonderful years.
Ro lives in Mudgee where she and her husband Grosvenor own High Valley Cheese Company and produce a highly-awarded range of specialty cheeses.