Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Cricket Art Prize 2009

Here is my entry for the Publishers Cup Cricket Prize 09. The inspiration behind this painting was not out of a passion for the sport, not in pursuit of any notoriety it had a bigger purpose. Initially I dismissed entering as I personally am not into sport though I do enjoy painting people in costume or uniform. My motivation came from personal passion, moving me to put in weeks of painting during a very hectic time in my life. I wanted the painting to communicate the following:

First and foremost I wanted to draw attention to the orphans in India and hopefully encourage additional support for the orphanages. I have a high regard for the valuable work our local church volunteers do in India. It is unmistakable the hope they bring with what they do there. If my painting had won or sold via the finalist exhibition, the funds were committed to sponsoring a trip to India, and financial assistance for the cause most on my heart right now.

Secondly I wanted to express the spirit of many fellow Australians that care about a relationship with India and India’s people. The entry specified the theme for the competition; the subject focused on the social game of cricket in its many forms and how cricket brings out both prejudice and unity between nations. The subject was perfect for the theme.

Sadly, most recently Australia has been represented in the media for the prejudiced and violent harassment of Indians. There is no denying there are people here doing the immoral thing however, we are not all of the same heart. There are people in all countries behaving terribly but that does not speak for any one race.

I felt the image represented the Australian who desired relationship with all people from all nations. The image was of a team of young Australians and adults from local churches who toured India to play cricket with the Indians. The trip called the Twenty 20 Tour, obtained special permission to play during a time where the stadiums were closed due to elections. The painting shows the team members grouping together both Indian players and Australians; not an Australian team in opposition to an Indian team. I loved the intertwined arms of dark and light skin in one big group hug. I gave it the title ‘Game plan’.

I love how the viewer is made to feel like he or she is part of the moment. You feel like you are listening in on the team’s plans. The young man is looking around to see if anyone can hear what the team is planning and he seems to sense someone present making us as viewers feel a little tension as if we are eavesdropping.

Unfortunately my painting did not make the finalist list. It may be hard to believe but I never felt even a tinge of rejection from the rejected entry however I felt disappointed in what I saw as a great opportunity to make a difference. I still seek a sponsor to purchase the painting so I can assist more in India. This is not just a painting; it is my way of contributing. I am hopeful that writing about my Cricket Art Prize painting entry here, will draw attention to the work my local Church is doing, the message of relationship with our neighbours and if a sale is eventuates soon I can pursue the romantic but achievable vision I have on my heart. I believe everyone of us can make a big difference if we ask how.

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