Peterborough Art Prize

25 May 2021

The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:47): It is a huge pleasure for me as the member for Stuart to rise to talk about a fantastic local community event that I attended just last Friday evening, 21 May, in Peterborough. Some members may know that once a year the Peterborough Art Prize is held. It is a fantastic exhibition that I think has been running for 13 or so years—I am sorry I do not know exactly—and it is gaining a very positive reputation. It always is an outstanding exhibition run by volunteers.

This year, they did something slightly differently when organising. This year, they decided to split off the youth section of the exhibition. Traditionally, the main exhibition and the youth and school student section, encompassing pictures, sculpture at times and a lot of photography, have all been run together in the absolutely beautiful Peterborough Town Hall.

This year they decided to run them separately, which has turned out to be a really fantastic opportunity for the students to have their own exhibition. Not only is it open to Peterborough Primary School, St Joseph’s School and Peterborough High School students in the town of Peterborough but it is open to other students, and there were certainly plenty of contributions to this youth exhibition from other young people from around the broader MNSEC area, as it is often referred to with regard to the group of schools in the Mid North.

It was tremendous to see such a wide range of art put together with great care, talent, skill and concentration by such a wide range of students. I know that none of the exhibitors will mind my saying that you could tell there was a big difference between some of the art that was prepared and presented by some of the much younger students through to the much older students in high school. That is not unusual and there is no shame in that, but I know that some of those younger students will move on and develop and their talents will grow as they themselves grow.

There were tremendous drawings, tremendous photography and tremendous paintings—some oil and some watercolour. There was what looked to me like a collage, but it was such a carefully put together collage that I was not actually sure if that was the case to begin with. I would like to particularly congratulate a young lady whose name is Serafina, who took out the main overall prize in this exhibition. I would also like to acknowledge Ms Janet Ridge, the Chairperson of the Peterborough Art Prize Committee, who led both the main adult exhibition as well as the youth exhibition. Janet and her committee did an absolutely outstanding job this year.

The adult exhibition, which is held very close to Easter—I think it is usually the Friday before Good Friday—holds a very special place in my heart, not only because it is in the fantastic town of Peterborough but because it was the very first public event that I ever attended as the member for Stuart shortly after the late March election in 2010. I believe I have attended every single year since then. I might have missed one, but I do not think so, and it is a real pleasure for me to participate in, contribute to and support that event.

It is a pleasure to do that always with Mayor Ruth Whittle, who supports every single thing that is going on in Peterborough. It is also a great pleasure for me to see this exhibition grow, develop and improve. This year, the improvement was with regard to giving the youths of the district their own exhibition. It was wonderful to go to the adult one several weeks ago and wonderful to go to the separate youth exhibition just under one week ago.