Horizon Festival - Online for 2020 // 28 Aug - 6 Sep 2020

PlaceHolder People's Choice

PlaceHolder People's Choice

Horizon Festival has teamed up with Sunshine Coast Libraries for PlaceHolder, an opportunity for local Sunshine Coast-based artists to feature their artwork on a library bookmark. Local artists were invited to submit original contemporary artworks created in response 2020. This year has been a wild ride and we invited artists to reflect on this extraordinary time and create works that speak to their lived experience in 2020.

Successful artists are being awarded in two categories, Main Prize and People’s Choice. Our Main Prize winner was Libby Derham, you can see more of her work here. The People’s Choice prize was shortlisted by our PlaceHolder judging panel, who selected artworks for our community to now vote on and select the winner. The winning artist will receive $500 cash and have their artwork featured on 2,500 free bookmarks to be distributed across the Sunshine Coast Libraries and council network. Click here to vote now.

Check out the successful finalists' work below.

'Apart Yet Still Together' - Hannah Cameron-Roberts

Apart yet still together was created using the digital artwork medium, and to represent a world of 2020. With the onslaught of difficult times the year 2020 has brought for the people of the world, with the bush fires and Coronavirus plaguing Australia and her people. i wanted to show in this art piece the loneliness the year 2020 has thrust upon us as 7 billion people suffer from a mental health crisis and that even as we all are all separated from friends, family and the common person to person interaction that we as a society have grown so use to that Apart we are still together united as a the human race. The two girls in this artwork are together even apart. They know that one day the world will go back to normal, and that even though we are suffering now. One day we will be able to hug, cry and laugh together again. As I have gone through 2020 with my own ups and downs missing the friends that I could see at any time, which I took for granted, I can only hope I too, am not alone.

'Vocabulary Shift' - Denise Lamby

2020 and I’m ready to share my artistic passion. Open Studios, Fashion runways, gallery exhibitions…

Enter Covid19.

From ‘flat out’ to ‘lights out’ Covid19 has rocked the entire world.

Initially we grappled with the term ‘Coronavirus’ remodelled to ‘Covid19’ as we understand it today.

But it’s the litany of new phrases, words and underlying meanings that have shifted so quickly, that inspired the creation of ‘Vocabulary Shift’. Acrylic on canvas, recycled paper.

At first the words are big, bold and new as they enter the media mainstream and the public psyche. Presenters stumble over the specific meaning of terms like ‘self-isolation’, ‘quarantine’ and ‘reproduction rate’.

As time progresses so does our acceptance and understanding of the words and phrases. They themselves become ‘the new normal’.
‍As you scan down the word montage you may notice the subtle shift as the words become more ordered, consistent in size and not quite as bright and shiny.

Vocabulary Shift reflects our acceptance, like the ordered backdrops and neatly stacked book displays, the new normal in the numerous Skype and Zoom meetings to which we’ve become so accustomed. Even those backdrops have shifted as we’re learnt to present our polished-selves to the outside world.

'Pick Up a Book' - Jo Murray

2020 has been a year of confusion, concern, and conflict. There is a wonderful way to deal with this... read. By picking up a book you can escape into another world, learn new skills, and be entertained.  Reading connects you to new places, new people, and new ideas. Just do it!

My medium of choice is digital collage. Technology has also helped in this time of crisis by enabling people to connect with each other. For me, this is a way of paying homage to this new world.

'Permanent Transience' - Sarah Turnbull

This artwork is collage on paper. Watercolour, pencil and ink were used on both watercolour paper and rice paper to create the elements of the final piece.

The beginning of 2020 was marked by a ferocious season of bushfires in Australia quickly followed by the global COVID-19 pandemic. For many of us it has been a time of fear, uncertainty and isolation. However in the first weeks of lockdown here on the Sunshine Coast we experienced an explosion of butterflies. I found immense comfort in the reminder of the fragility of nature and also its resilience. The eternal balance of birth, growth, death, destruction, decay, regeneration, adaptation and evolution. This artwork is a reflection of the enduring strength and connectedness of nature and community here on the Sunshine Coast.

'Dune Flowers and Grass' - Marni Stuart

Through Covid-19 the Currimundi beach and sand dunes have been an escape from the condensed space of our home. A space for the kids to run free and shake off their energy. The Currimundi sand dunes are a space that Kathleen McArthur and the wild flower-loving women and men fought hard to protect.
‍‍This design is a homage to the dune dwelling plants that secure our dunes and protect the flora and fauna that depend on them. The work was drawn in sharpies in my sketchbook and has been transformed into a repeating pattern as part of my surface design practice.
‍On our daily walk to the dunes, we spotted some unusual flowers popping up. They looked like a cotton tree flower but were a ground cover. These are Suncups, or Beach Evening Primrose. Just like us, venturing out from our Covid-safe home, these Suncups are non-endemic plant that as joined the area from afar.
‍The sand dunes all along our coastline should be a place that we should work to protect, just like it works to protect us.

'Alex Beach' - Margaret Backhouse

This photo of Alexandra Headland beach was taken on 19 July 2020 on the last day of my daughter’s visit from Sydney.  She arrived on 10 July just after midday, when the Queensland border reopened.  We hadn’t seen her since Christmas and we had been feeling the impact of closed borders and missing the freedom of seeing family whenever we wanted.  My son’s girlfriend was due to start studying in Brisbane in July but she remains in Norway.  Everyone’s life has been impacted in some way.

My daughter felt much better after her swim, but leaving was still sad as we don’t know when she can visit again. We have been very grateful for our wonderful beaches which continue to provide an escape in these trying times.  There is so much space, so there are no worries about trying to fit in with the distancing guidelines.  The fresh sea air is a tonic for frayed nerves and anxiety.

'Cells and Stars' - Gillian Davies

The images of viruses and germs that have bombarded us from the world's media in 2020, along with the awareness of vascular pathways in our bodies are transformed into a colourful pattern of natural energies. These magical pathways float and feed and filter down into the ether. Ghostly memories of indigenous and pioneer people past appear alongside those lost to the virus in 2020. All this imaginary life is floating in the eternal space above our beautiful Sunshine Coast landscape along with a powerful moon which reflects eternity and the power which transcends all of the 2020 experience.

'Artwork' - Pauline Lyon

I was very passionate creating my artwork using brushes and acrylic paints on Black 140gsm paper, layering the paint to achieve brightness, shadows and texture.  Then outlining with a black ink pen. 

Whilst depicting my rollercoaster experience of 2020 I used emotions.  I incorporated an animated and humorous approach to my artwork to lighten what has been a very strange year. Each dog depicts the different emotions I experienced throughout the year. ‍
Concern at the beginning when Australians overseas were asked to “come home”.   Shock of what “lockdown”, “stay at home” and “social distancing” actually meant. Crazy panic buying that eventuated with toilet rolls and hand sanitiser, amongst other things, being impossible to procure.

Sadness of a changed world as events unfolded. Relief that here on the Sunshine Coast we were lucky to be faring so well.

Happiness when businesses and the border began to reopen up so life could return to some kind of normal. Then concern when the border closed again.

General disbelief as some managed to break rules, jump the border and escape isolation throughout the year.

Ending with hope that the rest of 2020 and the future will be brighter like our beautiful Sunny Coast.

'Migration and Transformation' - Crystal Lapointe

2020: This year really has been a wild ride. For many, their lives have been redirected and transformed in ways not thought possible. For some this has brought uncertainty and fears of the unknown path ahead. Although for many, including myself, this time has brought great transformational growth which would not have occurred if it were not for the global events that have effected every person worldwide. Time and Space were gifts presented during these testing times and with this time deep contemplation and comparisons were made between what was and what is now.

As we navigated the new world in a pandemic, the sunshine coast also experienced a natural phenomenon where hundreds of Blue Tiger Butterflies were seen in unusually high numbers across the coast. Spiritual significance of the butterfly has represented growth and transformation so I found myself sitting in awe contemplating this as these butterflies few overhead. Since this took place I have created artwork featuring these butterflies as they now hold great significance to me and my transformational year of growth. The year of 2020.

'Just Keep Flying' - Sophie Armstrong-Wearne

My artwork in response to 2020 is titled ‘Just Keep Flying’. The meaning of this is that a lot of negative things have happened in 2020 but we must leave them behind us and ‘Just Keep Flying’. We do not have to forget about everything that has happened, but we should stay positive and keep moving on. During the Covid-19 lockdown the Blue Tiger butterflies migrated North through South East Queensland. Despite all the things that have happened this year the butterflies have continued to ‘Just Keep Flying’ and have not let anything hold them back. The flight path of words behind the butterflies are all the major events that have happened in 2020. They show that the butterflies keep on moving through life with a positive attitude. While I was in lockdown, I enjoyed surfing at the beach and watching the beautiful sunsets. I have shown this through the watercolour sunset background in the artwork. Although 2020 has been a hard year we must leave the negative behind and ‘Just Keep Flying’