Du Rietz Art Awards

The Du Rietz Art Awards honour the architect of the beautiful historic School of Arts building where the Gallery is housed, and is open to all experience levels.


Major Prize Awards

Gympie Regional Council 2D Award $5,000

Budget Steel 3D Award $3,000 (Acquisitive)

SoMa SoMa Locals Award $3,000

Sub Awards

2D Highly Commended Award $1,000

Ceramic Award $700

People’s Choice Award $1,000


2D AWARD - Lilli Waters

Last Days 

2020, Archival pigment print on fibre rag, 78 x 112cm

Sponsored by Gympie Regional Council 


Judges Comments:

It’s hard not to feel insignificant or overwhelmed when viewing this artwork. Last Days is a dramatic photograph, with the artist using contrast to skillfully balance hard and soft, sublime and insignificant, stoic and dynamic, ancient and young.

With the figures surrounded by a monolithic rock formation, there is an overwhelming tension between the past and future. Through this photograph, the artist has expanded upon traditional notions of the ‘feminine’.

The photographer’s gaze is critical, drawing upon elements of art history’s Romantic and Pre-Raphaelite depictions of the femme fatale. Rather than voyeuristic observations, the artist has depicted the two women in movement, imbuing them with a sense of agency and as the artist has stated: “strength, nonchalance and indomitability”.

We are currently living in a state of significant and unpredictable social and environmental change. The artist has put forward a challenge to be critical, connected and sympathetic to each other and the environment that surrounds us.




Young Reflections 

2020, Charcoal, 78 x 64cm

Sponsored by Gympie Regional Council 


Judges Comments:

Young Reflections is a beautiful portrait of a young man. The technical feat of developing a portrait that delicately and transparently depicts the sitter should not be underestimated. From only a quick glance at this artwork, I know exactly the temperament and personality of the young man, and can clearly see his thoughts and feelings when the moment was captured.

This charcoal drawing brings to the fore several themes addressed collectively within this year’s Du Rietz Art Awards. Most notably, this drawing conveys anxieties about the future, with the sitter’s expression and the artist’s soft renderings displaying concern for the ‘unknowns’ of the world ahead.


From my Garden

2021, Clay and Glaze, 39 x 17 x 13cm

Sponsored by Budget Steel


Judges Comments:

The act of forming, glazing, and firing ceramics is an ancient technology.  From My Garden builds upon this history through creative reinterpretation of clay building techniques, embracing innovation and surrounding materials to develop a multi-textured and layered artwork.

The artist has incorporated personal stories and experiences of her home and garden into the ceramic. They have opened themselves, their artwork and creative process up to peer feedback through posting the development of the work to social media.

Now exhibited within a gallery space, the artist has again opened herself and her story up to her community to view.


Fire on Water

Stoneware clay

Sponsored by Gwyn Moore and Cooloola Potters Group


Judges Comments:

This ceramic artwork is a confluence of earth, fire and water drawn from the nearby Cooroy region. The artist has embraced their immediate location through every facet of this work, with the resulting form clearly speaking to the delicacy of our environments.


My Mother's Treasures, 2021


Sponsored by SoMa SoMa Espresso


Judges Comments:

The past and present collide in this artwork, culminating in a graceful homage to the artist’s mother. Saturated in fond memories, this sculpture speaks to the practicality and resiliency of the woman who has inspired the work. The collection of objects is a sensitive and resourceful display of intergenerational love, creativity, and ingenuity.

2021 Final Judge - Madeline Brewer

Madeline Brewer is Flying Arts’ By Request Program and Membership Lead. She has worked in a range of cultural institutions, including Rockhampton Art Gallery, National Gallery of Australia and National Museum of Australia.  Madeline is a program producer, researcher and curator. Over the years she has been involved in the delivery of arts projects, with highlights including art exhibitions, events, programs and residencies in regional Queensland. Madeline grew up in Biloela, Queensland, before studying Art History and Curatorship at the Australian National University. Madeline’s work at Flying Arts and current research is grounded in increasing accessibility of visual art for regional and remote communities through digital engagement and adaptable learning practices. 


Key Dates

Exhibition viewing | 29 July - 3 September 2021

Peoples Choice Awards voting closes | 27 August 2021

Peoples Choice Awards Winner Announced | 28 August 2021 


2021 Sponsors:

  • Gympie Regional Council
  • Budget Steel
  • SoMa SoMa Espresso Bar
  • Gwyn Moore
  • Cooloola Potters Group
  • Creative Arts Gympie Region Inc.
  • Heinke Butt
  • Sally and David Gartshore
  • Annette Reilly