Well what can I say.....what a total blast of a week in Melbourne the APPA's were....expectations are always high and every year they are pretty much met regardless of how well you do in the competition because it is so much more than that. To start with the print judging is a leveller....you can be standing next to Australia's best and they are just as nervous as you!.... Just by entering you have conquered a hurdle and the atmosphere is quicker and less stressfull than the State Awards where you sit in dead silence waiting for the verdict. The prints come and go pretty quickly and you have to make sure you are in a position to move into one of the 3 rooms that they are judging in. Basically the print has to stop them in their tracks to be awarded or one of the judges needs to champion the print and talk it up. Whatever you are communicating in the print has to be immediately recognised or it will be passed over.
This year I entered what I considered were my 4 best prints from this year. I did a bit of umming and ahhing because I had a good set of prints which have been scored differently in different comps and because one had just done monumentally well at WPPI (International Competition where it got second place in Senior Portrait) I put it in and moved another out. I was delighted to get a Silver Dist for Element - Water and a Silver each for 'Oranges and Lemons' and Element - Earth. My 4th print recieved 79 which is a Bronze and gets me half a point toward my Masters.
However the things that are taken away from APPA aren't about Prints and scores....the comraderie and fun that hanging with your mates and bonding because of a common love of artform that we are all equally driven to do is what its all about. The inspiration gained from seeing the best of the best up close cannot be underestimated...the drive to get better and push the limits of our skills...and the letting of the hair down when you know you have done the best you can with what you've got makes the week magic. It was lovely connecting and getting to know new people and with a big pile of us girls rooming in the same place we had a blast.... I was fortunate to be able to go on to NZ for another extraordinary week but thats another post...so here are the prints that I put in this year and can't wait to get stuck into next years project!...and I forgot to mention the dinner.....a glittering gala ball held in the Plaza theatre...just amazing!