By Justin Flynn
Ocean Grove artist Kay Hennessy has won Melbourne’s newest art prize.
Kay won the Simpson Arts Prize, with her creative contribution of an ocean inspired needle felting.
The Simpson Arts Prize is an imitative of Lifestyle Communities where residents from its 13 locations participate in a community-wide arts show.
The show brings together the creative talents within the diverse communities across numerous categories, ranging from photography and sculpturing to quilting and woodwork.
Ever since moving into Lifestyle Ocean Grove, Kay has been able to return to her hobbies, one of them being needle felting.
Her creative submission for the art show was titled ‘The Rip’ and she says that living on the coast as well as being connected to other creatives in her community has helped inspire her artistic vein.
“For many years I walked on the beach with my dog and was inspired by the landscape,” Kay said.
“I took a photo one morning and thought ‘I might try and paint that’.
“Then on finding my new craft – needle felting – this was the outcome.”
Kay said it only took her six hours to come up with her winning entry.
“Once I start on something like this I get carried away and don’t stop until I have finished,” she said.
Kay said her love of art started when she was a child.
“When at primary and secondary school I always entered the colouring-in competitions and won most times,” she said.
“As per usual most artistic things went on the back burner while I earned a living and were not re-kindled until I retired.”
Kay said she was “absolutely gobsmacked” when she found out she had won the top prize.
“I had no expectations at all – there were some very good entrants,” she said.
“The event was a great day and a fun experience, very well organised and a good way to see what other people are creating.”
Channel 9’s Livinia Nixon was a part of the judging panel, judging the top creations from each category, with the overall category winners receiving a cheque for $1000.