BOOM! Wins STILL People’s Choice Award
Published on 11 October 2021
Votes from across Australia have been counted and the public have chosen a local winner for this year’s STILL: National Still Life Award. The $5,000 People’s Choice has been awarded to Coffs Harbour’s Peggy Zephyr for her bold painting, BOOM!
Announced by Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery via livestream on Saturday, the work was voted the favourite still life ahead of 58 other finalists, selected from a field of over 1000 entries nationwide.
Coffs Coast artist Peggy Zephyr says she was overwhelmed at being chosen for such an incredible award.
“The work in STILL is at such a high level and I was so proud to be amongst the other artists,” said Peggy.
Creating a deceptively simple painting, Peggy worked through 29 colour variations for her final work. She says she was driven to explore the surprising combinations between flat colours that, “ignite, vibrate and fizz, but ultimately keeps the eye moving around the canvas. I want to mess with the viewer’s eye.”
Although the $5,000 prize will contribute to the expense of creating more work, for Peggy the money isn’t the motivator for entering awards such as STILL.
“It’s the platform it gives you, the other artists you meet, the people in positions like gallery owners, that is what’s valuable. I had a gallery approach me to have a solo show because they came across me through STILL. That is a big deal as an emerging artist, it’s incredibly powerful.”
Originally from London, Peggy describes herself as a maker and strives to be an ‘art superhero’, spreading joy and colour through the beauty of art.
“I want to make work that is inclusive, not elitist, that people want to put into their homes and it doesn’t use a language that people don’t understand.”
Also online for the announcement was STILL major prize winner, Blak Douglas, who reminded Peggy to buy new razors with her prize money; a friendly reference to Peggy’s signature black beard.
“Art shouldn’t be so stuffy and serious,” explains Peggy. “The beard is part of that, it’s disarming, fun and why not!”
To share her joy, Peggy has painted a mini version of her winning BOOM! artwork and is offering it as a prize on her Instagram page @peggy_zephyr with the winner announced 31 October.
The 3D Virtual Tour allows anyone to experience the STILL exhibition online, while visitors can see all 59 finalist works in person at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery, open until 23 October. Visit www.coffsharbour.nsw.gov.au/still
- Images courtesy of Fire & Fly Media
- The winner of STILL: National Still Life Award 2021 People’s Choice Award: Peggy Zephyr’s BOOM! 2021. Acrylic on Canvas