The Cossack Art Awards continue to attract a high calibre of respected art professionals and celebrated artists.
Meet our panel of esteemed judges for 2023, responsible for the arduous task of selecting winners for each of the award categories.
David Spencer is a truly unique artist whose diverse and eclectic portfolio is a testament to his unwavering commitment to exploring the human experience. Born in the 1970s in the North West of Australia, Spencer's art is deeply rooted in his personal journey, reflecting the emotions he has experienced along the way.
One of the most striking aspects of Spencer's work is the emotional depth he can achieve. Using colour, movement, and texture, he can create a visceral response in viewers, drawing them into his world and inviting them to share in his experiences. Whether it is a vibrant and energetic piece or a more subdued and contemplative work, Spencer's paintings never fail to leave a lasting impression.
Perhaps one of the most impressive things about Spencer's art is the sheer range of materials, mediums, and styles he employs. From traditional oil on canvas to mixed media sculptures and installations, Spencer is not bound by any technique or approach. Instead, he enjoys experimenting and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in his art, always seeking new ways to express himself and connect with his audience.
With pieces featured in esteemed collections such as the Victor Smorgon Collection (NSW), Melissa Juneau Collection (USA), Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Collection (WA), Central College of Tafe (WA), and the Ronald McDonald House (WA), Spencer's art resonates universally, leaving an indelible mark on those who encounter it. His fearless approach and unwavering commitment to pushing artistic boundaries make him a true master of his craft. He is a shining example of what is possible when an artist is unafraid to take risks, push boundaries, and explore the world around them.
James Giddy is a multidisciplinary artist who has gained recognition for his large-scale public art works both domestically and internationally. Based in Boorloo (Perth), Giddy was initially recognised through mural work for Form WA’s Public Project (2015) and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Curtin University (2016 Degree Show).
With foundations in watercolour painting, Giddy pays homage to contrast and composition, looking to the natural environment and his near surroundings for inspiration. The immediacy and sense-of-place achieved by the French motif of ‘en plein air’ painting, translates through a lot of his mural and studio work.
Giddy’s works encourage the audience to question and bring their own contextual understanding to the composition, whilst providing a platform of familiarity in the subject and its action. Through these dynamics of a subject and its ground, Giddy often visits themes concerning the every-day and the common civilian, whilst using the public reach of his mural work to look at environmental awareness and conservation, drawing focus to nature in an urban environment or on a man-made structure.
Transcending creative disciplines, Sioux Tempestt creates abstract, mural, sculptural and digital art that contributes meaningfully to its context. Her work aims to create a narrative and connection, as Sioux believes art plays an intrinsic contribution to our wellbeing, health and happiness.
She constantly pushes the boundaries of her practice in order to communicate and share her tremendous positivity and energy for life.
In the public realm, Sioux produces large scale contemporary mural and sculptural artworks. The works aim to integrate the built form and the natural environment through thought-provoking design. She is passionate about working with the community, mentoring, and facilitating creative workshops. Through a process of collaboration, Sioux recently delivered large-scale public artwork at the Lakelands station for Metronet/PTA. An advocate for high quality contemporary public art outcomes, Sioux is a member of Local Government public art assessment panels.
Sioux has delivered 10 solo exhibitions and exhibited in numerous group shows. She curated the 2022 Darlington Arts Festival Sculpture on the Scarp. Among other achievements Sioux was a Finalist in the City of Joondalup 2022 Invitation Art Prize. She also composes music, video and writing - her film work being shortlisted in the 2022 WA Screen Culture Awards and Official Selection, plus the 2022 Revelation Perth International Film Festival.