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Our Judges

Meet our 2024 Judges

Steven King
2020 Steven King_ Many Many IV

Stephen King was born in Bingara, NSW, Australia, in 1958. He graduated from the Sydney College of the Arts in 1979 and furthered his studies in printmaking at St Martins School of Art in London in 1981.

King is recognized for his remarkable talent in sculpting, primarily utilizing fallen wood to craft figurative sculptures and large abstract constructions. He pioneered the establishment of Walcha’s “Open Air Gallery,” which showcases 57 sculptures.

Throughout his career, King has made significant contributions to the art world. He represented Australia at the Inami Wood Sculpture Symposium in Japan in 2007 and has participated in prestigious exhibitions such as Sculpture by the Sea (SXS) in Bondi and Cottesloe, with notable appearances in Aarhus, Denmark in 2015. His artistic journey of two decades was celebrated with a traveling survey exhibition organized by the Tamworth Regional Gallery.

Among his many accolades, King has been honoured with the major award at SXS Bondi in 2013, as well as recognition at Sculpture Inside in 2011; the Artistic Excellence Program in 2014; and Invited Artist in 2016. Noteworthy achievements also include receiving the Helen Lempriere Senior Scholarship in 2020. His recent accomplishments include winning the 2022 Palmer Sculpture Biennial and being selected as a recipient of the 2023 Transfield Australian Invited Artists Program SXS Bondi.

King’s public commissions include the Canal to Creek Public Art Program,  in WestConnex, Sydney; Sculpture down the Lachlan and the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Trail, Tumbarumba; and the Snowy Valleys Sculpture Forest, NSW.

Julia Griffin

Julia Griffin, born in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 1958, is a distinguished artist celebrated for her versatile exploration of various mediums and subjects throughout her career. After completing her Bachelor of Visual Arts, majoring in printmaking, at Sydney College of the Arts in 1979, Griffin pursued further artistic development in London, studying printmaking at the Central School of Art.

In 1982, she moved to Walcha, New South Wales, where she married fellow artist, Stephen King. This relocation marked a significant shift in Griffin’s artistic focus from printmaking to painting, particularly watercolours and oils. Initially, interiors, the fronts of houses and backs of trucks held a fascination for her but gradually she started to paint the landscape in which she lived and particularly what she saw from the road. The weather is reflected in the landscape, as is the presence of man in the way he has delineated the landscape with roads and fences that follow the contours of the land.

She returned to painting interiors and making multiple plate etchings exploring the inner lives of abandoned spaces; old houses that still hold memories and the remnants of another life and time. Her present work describes the landscape around Walcha, working primarily with oil on paper and more recently she is experimenting en plein air with oil pastels and gouache.

Since 1983, Griffin has held 19 solo exhibitions in Sydney, showcasing her work at esteemed galleries such as Coventry, Brian Moore Gallery, Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Paddington, NERAM, and Tamworth Regional Gallery. Additionally, she has gained recognition as a finalist in prestigious art prizes including the Paddington Art Prize and the Hawkesbury Art Prize.

Andrew Pearson

Andrew Pearson, a photographer based in Tamworth, New South Wales, has carved a unique path blending his background in law enforcement with his passion for photography.

Having proudly served the Community as a NSW Police Officer for 15 years, Andrew brings problem-solving skills and a friendly demeanour to every project, forging genuine connections with his subjects working with small businesses to major enterprises. Inspired by the landscapes and people of rural New South Wales, his work spans from capturing the raw beauty of nature specialising in people, rural properties, landscape and machinery.

While enjoying all aspects of photography, his favourite photography is capturing the essence of family life, immortalising everyday moments, special occasions, and cherished milestones.

Outside of photography, Andrew is a devoted stay-at-home dad and swim coach. His commitment to family life is reflected in his heartfelt images, which also showcase the resilience of rural communities.

Past Judges

Gillian Hook B.A.V.A. Dip Ed.

Gillian Hook

Gillian has been a practising artist and teacher for the past forty years, both in the Hunter Valley and since 1993, in the Southern Highlands of NSW.

She won awards for her work in both oils and watercolour, and her paintings hang in several Municipal Collections, as well as in private collections in Australia and overseas. She held three solo exhibitions in Newcastle, and two large solo exhibitions in the Southern Highlands.

In 1992 she obtained a Visual Arts Degree and Diploma of Education at Newcastle University.

She has also travelled to many areas of NSW conducting workshops, including Grafton Arts Fest, while also judging at several exhibitions. President of the Scone Arts and Crafts Centre for several years, she later became President of the Bowral District Art Society (now Bowral Art Gallery). where she still conducts quarterly workshops.

Haley Robinson

Haley Robinson

Photography for Haley began as a hobby and, with encouragement from her family and friends, she started entering small regional shows

A year later she joined the Tamworth Camera Club, where she has learnt and practiced different styles and techniques of photography and has taken on the role of Club Vice President. In her time with Camera Club, she has undertaken photography judging courses and is now one of the judges for their monthly competitions, generously sharing her ideas, knowledge, and techniques to help other photographers to be the best they can be.

She enjoys all genres of photography especially if the photographer has captured an image that tells a story or induces feelings or emotions of the moment in the image.

Haley lives in Tamworth with her husband and two sons and looks forward to judging the photography exhibit at the 2023 Bendemeer Art Show.