Warning: Unexpected character in input: '\' (ASCII=92) state=1 in /home/isi19164/public_html/libraries/rokcommon/RokCommon/Registry.php on line 381

Warning: Unexpected character in input: '\' (ASCII=92) state=1 in /home/isi19164/public_html/libraries/rokcommon/RokCommon/Registry.php on line 394
isiiad - Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Awards-2

Warning: Unexpected character in input: '\' (ASCII=92) state=1 in /home/isi19164/public_html/libraries/gantry/core/utilities/gantryregistry.class.php on line 326

Warning: Unexpected character in input: '\' (ASCII=92) state=1 in /home/isi19164/public_html/libraries/gantry/core/utilities/gantryregistry.class.php on line 339

Nillumbik Ekphrasis Poetry Award


Camilla TADICH©, 6.23am Kangaroo Ground  2009, oil on canvas, 94.5cm. x 125cm. framed.

"Ekphrasis is a genre of poetry that explores works of art and seeks to 'get inside' its visual subject."  Arguably the most famous example of this genre is John Keats, Ode on a Grecian Urn (1820).  Here's the last verse to get you in the mood...

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought,

With forest branches and the trodden weed;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought

As doth eternity. Cold Pastoral!

When old age shall this generation waste,

Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe

Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,

"Beauty is truth, truth beauty"---that is all

Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.


Mark PAGE©, Of soft mauves in the meadow, in the fairest of her years 1979, oil on canvas, 101.5cm. x 83.5cm.

The Nillumbik Shire Arts and Culture team have done it again! Their inaugural Ekphrasis Poetry Award is pure gold. It invites poets to respond to one or more of twelve diverse works of art from the Nillumbik Shire's extensive collection (reputedly valued at four million dollars). There's sculpture, ceramic, painting and jewellery to inspire poets to weave together some well chosen words. Three of the works are shown in this post. 

"Each poem must be no longer than twelve lines, and may be in any genre of poetry."

Twelve poems will be selected by judges Helen Lucas, Fee Sievers and August Skipper.

First Prize: $500

Second Prize: $300

Third Prize: $200

Youth Prize: $150 (12-18 years old)

Entries close 30th April 2012.

Reproductions of all twelve artworks are available via the Nillumbik Shire website while the works can be viewed at first hand at the Shire Offices for the duration of Awards. What a clever, innovative way to draw attention to a fine collection.


Clifton PUGH©, White Choughs in the Landscape / Untitled, 1958, acrylic and enamel on composition board, 124cm. x 226.5cm. framed.

I could hear the crackle of the bush at Dunmoochin when I saw this Clifton Pugh.  Ahh Dunmoochin.


Poet and Ekphrasis judge Helen Lucas read "Nude Descending a Staircase" by X. J. Kennedy (while artfully descending the stairs of the Nillumbik Shire offices) to mark the opening of the competition...sensational!

Nude Descending a Staircase by X.J. Kennedy©.

Toe after toe, a snowing flesh,

a gold of lemon, root and rind,

she sifts in sunlight down the stairs

with nothing on. Nor on her mind.

We spy beneath the banister

a constant thresh of thigh on thigh;

her lips imprint the swinging air

that parts to let her parts go by.

One-woman waterfall, she wears

her slow descent like a long cape

and pausing on the final stair,

collects her motions into shape.

(Source: Poetry, January 1960.)

If, like me, you are tempted to revisit the poem's inspiration, Marcel Duchamp's "Nude Descending a Staircase", you can do so via this link.

I look forward to enjoying the poetry that this project generates.  If possible, I'll share some of the winning entries with you.

My thanks to the organisers, Irene Pagram and her creative team for their exemplary nurturance of the arts in Nillumbik and their assistance with this post.

Parent Category: Arts
Facebook Image

Ev Hales-A Work in Progress

Ev Hales-A Work in Progress Yesterday saw the launch of Ev Hales eagerly anticipated, self published book "A Work in Progress". As the name suggests, it illuminates the process… More…

Akira Takizawa

Akira Takizawa I'm interested in what happens when two very talented creative people partner up. It's definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I'm… More…

Emmy Mavroidis

Emmy Mavroidis and Aldo Bilotta Emmy Mavroidis' work was shortlisted for this years Nillumbik Prize. It's a big brave drawing of a 'moving' figure. She loves the figure and has… More…


Out'n'about Today I've been out and about around my hood. This morning I drove through Warrandyte's early morning fog to get to the Baldessin Studio (Baldessin Press) at St… More…

Jessie Pittard

Jessie Pittard Jessie Pittard© "Feast" Woodblock print on Japanese rice paper. (detail) When I walked into the Nillumbik Artist's Open Studios exhibition in the Barn at… More…

Nillumbik Open Studios in November

Nillumbik Artist's Open Studios in November Detail of work by Stephanie Mew. Time to get your diary out and mark two weekends in November for some serious 'studio hopping'.… More…

Jeanette Dyke

Jeanette Dyke Photograph courtesy of Jeanette Dyke© Rarely do I find a silversmith, whose work is as exquisite as Jeanette Dykes. The travelling salt and pepper shaker (above) is… More…

Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn

Ona Henderson and Syd Tunn Syd Tunn © I Dips Me Lid. A self portrait (detail) There's magic in the air at Bend of Islands, just north of Warrandyte. The magicians responsible are… More…

Deborah Halpern- Angel maker

Deborah Halpern- Angel Maker Deborah Halpern's 'Angel' now stands by the Yarra River at Birrarung Mar, next to the Ian Potter Gallery. I'm old enough to remember her first home,… More…

Kaya Storm - Open Studios

Kaya Storm This is where it all begins... Photograph by Kerry Cross Best word to describe this work is elegant. Simple sculptural shapes made from simple materials with… More…

Birrarung House, Day One.

Birrarung House, Day One. My much anticipated artist in residence began at Birrarung House yesterday. It’s 6.30am. on my first full day here. I’m sitting up in my bed writing, so… More…

Dunmoochin Opening

Dunmoochin Opening Dunmoochin was alive with people and the paintings of Barbara Hauser on the weekend. Shane Pugh (Clifton Pugh's son) and Barbara, celebrated the opening below.… More…


"Fulling" I'm back home now. Yesterday I was working on my deck and kept looking over in the direction of Birrarung, wistfully wondering if the frogs were missing me as much as I… More…

After the Storm

After the Storm Days are filled with quiet pleasures here, no bells and whistles. But then bells and whistles are here and gone in an instant, bouncing off the surface of things.… More…

Strathewen Letterboxes

Strathewen Letterboxes Look what I spied on the way to The Chook Project in Strathewen. I just had to share them with you. These letterboxes certainly brightened up my day.… More…

Pamela Irving

Pamela Irving I'm finding Melbourne's cold wet winter really drab. I know we need the rain but oh how I long for a warm day to get outside and enjoy the sunshine on my deck in… More…

The Chook Project

The Chook Project Photograph courtesy of Barbara Joyce. Today is the Third Anniversary of the Black Saturday Fires. I want to mark the event with a story that has in turn, made me… More…

The Essence of Nerina

The Essence of Nerina Nerina Lascelles exhibition "Seizui- Essence" opened at Montsalvat at the beginning of this month. In excess of one hundred people enjoyed Montsalvat's… More…

Congratulations Nerina Lascelles

Congratulations Nerina Lascelles! Long-Leaf Box Nerina Lascelles© (Winner of 2011 Nillumbik Prize Peoples Choice Award) Late last night an email came through letting me know that… More…

Karena Goldfinch

Karena Goldfinch Karena Goldfinch© Black Wallaby Forest My dream of living by the river at Warrandyte was born way back in my childhood when the Murray River was my 'playground'.… More…