Success for PLHS Artists at Malka Aboriginal Art Prize

The 2023 Malka Aboriginal Art Prize Awards took place on Thursday July 6th (coinciding with NAIDOC Week celebrations) at the Yarta Purtli Art Gallery in Port Augusta. We are delighted to announce that PLHS student Kaysharne Coleman received the Youth Award for her stunning painting entitled “Family”.

Kaysharne’s work portrays the bond she shares with her family and symbolises their connection, often travelling to and from Ceduna to reunite with one another. She received a $1,000 prize sponsored by Uniting Country SA.

Further, PLHS artists Sharlisha and Robert Roderick Varcoe were finalists in the People’s Choice Award with their collaborative piece “Family BBQ”, and all nine PLHS entries submitted sold.

Congratulations to Kaysharne, Sharlisha, Robert and the other exhibiting artists – special mentions must also go their incredible teachers and support staff, most notably Ms. Wanda Jarvis and Ms. Jenny Silver.

Kaysharne Coleman – “Family” (acrylic on canvas)

This painting is about my connection with family and how we go up and down to Ceduna to see family. We go fishing at Ceduna town jetty, the jetty is shown by the brown stripes on the outside of my painting and the white dots on the brown stripes represent the barnacles that are on the jetty pylons. As we move into the blue area of the work it blue represents the water of Murat Bay. The light blue is closer to the shore and as the water goes out it gets darker going into the sea. The green dots around the blue represent seaweed.

Kaysharne Coleman is an emerging artist born in 2008 at Port Lincoln, South Australia where the artist has spent most of her life. Ceduna is a special place because of the connection from her mother’s side. Wirangu is traditionally spoken by the Wirangu people, living on the west coast of South Australia across a region encompassing modern Ceduna and Streaky Bay, stretching west approximately to the head of the Great Australian Bight and east to Lake Gairdner. This is the place that Kaysharne regards as her home.

Kaysharne spends time with her father’s family in the South East of South Australia. Her father is a Ngarrindjeri man from this area.

Her work as a student in the Port Lincoln Art Centre Enterprise is primarily acrylic painting.

Kaysharne uses a variety of traditional and contemporary symbols and repeating patterns. The style of her work is usually abstract in style with a limited colour palette and natural tones. The artistic themes/subject matter often reflects cultural connections and family.

Kaysharne’s work is held in private collections within Port Lincoln. She has exhibited at the Nautilus Art Centre in Port Lincoln and at the Yarta Purtli Gallery in Port Augusta.

Sharlisha & Robert Roderick Varcoe – “Family BBQ” (acrylic on canvas)

Sharlisha and Robert are Wirangu/Kokatha/Mirning/Narangga/Kaurna artists who currently live in Port Lincoln (Bargarla Country).

This is a collaborative painting started by Robert and completed by Sharlisha and it shows our brothers. The circular symbols represent the brothers and where they live in different places and the wavey connecting lines mean when my family meet together and have a BBQ.

We achieved contrast by using warm earthy colours against the cool purple background. We used small white dots to bring a focus to the circular symbols that represent our family.

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