Issue 15
Monday, 29 August 2016
Charles Darwin University
Dr Strangeways’ “Buddy’s Feed”, on display in the Advocate Art Award
Dr Strangeways’ “Buddy’s Feed”, on display in the Advocate Art Award

‘Wet paint’ camel painting a hit with public

By Patrick Nelson

Central Australian bush studio artist Dr Al Strangeways has extended her run of people’s choice awards in public art exhibitions to nine, with another win in the Advocate Art Award.

Incredibly, the paint on this year’s winning work was still wet when Dr Strangeways delivered it to exhibition organisers at the Araluen gallery.

“I had finished it only the day before and it was still drying out,” Dr Strangeways said of “Buddy’s Feed”, her latest oil-on-linen camel portrait.

“I think people just like to see a friendly face, even if it’s a camel.

“He’s looking right at you, which perhaps invites a sense of connection between subject and viewer.”

Dr Strangeways said she again placed text in the background of the work.

“I’ve been experimenting with text, language, image and colour in many of my works over the past few years.

“In this case the text comes from an informative text about the history and ecology of camels in Australia.”

Dr Strangeways is largely a self-taught artist who began painting camels upon her arrival in the Red Centre 15 years ago.

“I’m fascinated by the quirky elegance of their form.

“Buddy is a tourist camel at Uluru who is popular among cameleers.”

This is Dr Strangeways’ fourth People’s Choice Award at the Advocate, almost matching the five she’s won in the Senior Portrait of a Territorian Art Award.

She is Charles Darwin University’s senior lecturer in education, based in Alice Springs.