Mandorla Art Award awarded to Broome artist

The 2022 Mandorla Art Award major prize was awarded to Broome artist Claire Beausein for her magnificent piece that stitches more than 600 silkworm cocoons together.

27 May 2022

The $25,000 main prize, which is a prestigious art award and the most significant thematic Christian art prize in Australia, is sponsored by St John of God Health Care as a part of our focus on the benefits of arts and health.2022 Mandorla Art Award

The winning work, titled Chalice, features wild cocoons, picked in Indonesia, stitched together with silk thread and hung with museum pins on cotton rag paper, bringing to life the artist theme of metamorphosis.

In awarding the piece first prize, the judges described it as evoking “images of shedding one’s skin in order to grow, of ceremonial scrolls, cloaks, and other religious ephemera, but the artist’s lightness of hand lends the work a magical quality, as if silkworms themselves had made it. Exquisitely made, ‘Chalice’ floats off the background, shimmering with golden, dappled light and shadow, inviting us to imagine.”

St John of God Health Care Board Chair Hon Kerry Sanderson AC CVO congratulated Claire on the piece and winning the major award.

“Sponsoring this major award is a part of our commitment to caring for all aspects of patient’s and client’s wellbeing,” she said.

“Our service delivery continues to be modelled on the healing Mission of Jesus Christ which means offering compassion, hope and healing to all in our care and to all who choose to work with us.

“Art in the health care environment offers us the opportunity to engage with our patients in new and creative ways and inspire hope.

“Some of the ways we use art in our care is through musical performances in waiting areas, music therapy in rehabilitation wards, art therapy in our mental health or acute settings or the enhanced environment that has come from art exhibits and displays in our foyers.” 

  • The Anglican Diocese Highly commended prize of $5,000 was awarded to Angela Stewart.
  • The Catholic Archdiocese of Perth prize of $5000 was presented to Susan Roux
  • The Patricia Toohey Painting Award of $5000 went to Michael Iwanoff

The Mandorla Art Award is on show at the Holmes à Court Gallery, and pieces can be viewed online. A selection of works will be exhibited at New Norcia and will then be installed at St John of God Subiaco and Murdoch Hospitals


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