One of the proud artists to exhibit and compete for some of the big prizemoney at this year's Girt by Sea event, is relatively new Russell Island resident and artist Kinga Rypinska-Zawazdzka.
She was delighted to discover that this year the Girt by Sea Sculpture Prize has been expanded by Cr Mark Edwards to also incorporate the painting disciplines as well.
With nearly $100,000 in prizemoney on offer across all sections, there has never been a more exciting time for the burgeoning island artistic community.
Artists and sculptors have been hard at work putting the finishing touches to the many entries that have been pouring in to organisers, led by Cr Edwards with help from those 4 Islands Festival men Bob Turner and Steve Morgan.
All the island artistic groups, Macleay Community Arts Inc. and Russell Island Community Arts have also got behind the event with their members hard at work encouraging participation in this year's Girt by Sea.
Kyla McFarlane of the Queensland Art Museum and Gallery of Modern Art has added an extra 'dimension' to the status of the event. Ruth McDougall and Peter McKay from the prestigious Gallery will be judging the Girt by Sea.
For Kinga Rypinska-Zawazdzka, had it not been for a change of circumstances in her life, she would not be relatively newly arrived and living on Russell Island, let alone have an entry in the prestigious art prize.
Kinga originally hails form Podmam in Poland and in 1993 met an Australian, married him, and moved to Victoria.
Art has always been a part of her family.
"I have painted from childhood. My mother at one time was the curator of the John Paul Museum in Rome."
In Victoria, Kinga studied at the Academy of Art and also has an Agriculture Degree in Animal Husbandry.
As an artist she works in an amazing array of mediums including mosaic, tapestry, glass painting and traditional.
It is no surprise that her works hang in many galleries around Australia and the world including The Henry Sienkiewicz Museum Poland, Orle Gniazdo Gallery Poland, Anna Karenski Gallery Poland, Reflections Gallery Canberra, Flux Gallery Melbourne, Around Clocks Gallery Melbourne and many others.
Kinga’s work has involved solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and commissions, including to the Department of Immigration.
She won the Burswood Art Award in 1998 and has appeared on television and radio in both Australia and Poland.
"I ended up on Russell Island only a few months ago after I went looking to purchase a home to suit my circumstances and Russell Island popped up.
"I was keen to come and live in Queensland and I love my new little home here," Kinga said.
She was even more delighted to discover active art groups on the island.
"The island artists have been very welcoming," she said.
A visit to Kinga's island home is definitely an experience.
You can understand her love of art as soon as you walk into her amazing home.
Kinga has clearly been collecting artworks and beautiful items for many years.
Every room of her home is literally covered in paintings, motifs, collector pieces, hundreds of small items and images and flowers, too.
It is colour everywhere and literally sums up Kinga Rypinska-Zawazdzka.
Should she ever open up her home for tours and visits, we reckon it would become a great island attraction. Certainly there is a story behind every item that is on display. Amazing indeed!
Kinga is looking forward to the Girt by Sea event.
"It is wonderful for art on the island, and to discover such a big prizemoney event on our islands is just a delight.
"It will do wonders for the development of the artistic community and island reputation," Kinga offered.
The artwork displays in the Girt by Sea event will be on display at the Macleay Island Community Arts Inc and at the new Russell Island Community Arts complex at Kennedy Farm throughout March.
The Girt by Sea sculpture entries will be at several locations with a special day on the mainland on Friday, March 10, at Fel Outridge Park just north of the ferry barge depot at Redland Bay.
There will be further sculpture exhibits at the Macleay Arts Complex in Coast Road, off Benowa Street, and at RICARTS at Kennedy Farm right throughout March.
Fine out more at: www.girtbyseaexhibition.com.au
• Kinga with one of her entries in the Girt by Sea art prize.