Award-winning painter says his work can be 'just awful'

UNUSUAL STYLE: Shannus O'Sullivan in his studio at Hivesville.

Photo: Louise Cheer / South Burnett Times
UNUSUAL STYLE: Shannus O'Sullivan in his studio at Hivesville. Photo: Louise Cheer / South Burnett Times Louise Cheer

HIS painting beat 187 other entries to win the $3000 Wondai Regional Art Gallery prize, but Hivesville artist Shannus O'Sullivan believes some of his art is "just awful".

The winner of the Mayor's Acquisitive Prize at the gallery's South Burnett Regional Council October 2019 Open Art Competition was still in shock after experiencing a turbulent 2019.

"I have been in about 10 exhibitions this year, and I've been rejected a couple of times," he said.

"They wouldn't hang my work."

Mr O'Sullivan has been a painter for 60 years and refers to the art industry as "a tough old business".

He said it wasn't up to him to make a judgement on his work, but he was certainly his own worst critic.

"It's not really up to me to say if I'm a good artist," he said.

"I think I'll leave that up to other people.

"Some of my art I like, some is just awful."

The Hivesville artist's winning piece, Sold Out, Moving On, beat more than 180 entries to take out the acquisitive prize at the Wondai art show on Friday.

Mayor Keith Campbell said the South Burnett Regional Council was proud to be involved in the event.

"This is another important ingredient in the completeness of the liveability of the region," Cr Campbell said.

"We have some wonderfully talented artists that do some remarkable things."

Mr O'Sullivan confirmed he already had plans for the $3000 prizemoney.

"I will put it into the bank for all the money I have used in going in so many exhibitions," he said.

His next focus is taking one of his pieces to Sydney, where the top prize is $20,000.

"I have a painting in my mind for it," Mr O'Sullivan said.

"Mind you the bigger the prizes, the bigger the artist they attract."

See the 2019 Open Art Competition entries at the Wondai Regional Art Gallery, which is open from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week and can be found at 40 Haly St, Wondai.