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Go for it – a message to emerging artists for this year’s QLD Outsider Art Awards

Published Tuesday 30 June 2020
  • Disability and Mental Health

Sue Yule, a long-time participant of Art from the Margins (AFTM) and winner of a 2018 Emerging Artist Award from AFTM’s Outsider Art Awards, finds confidence within herself and a safe place to express her creativity.

The year of 2020 has been a rollercoaster, one thing that we are sure of is our upcoming thought-provoking art prize with the theme of Belonging – the 2020 AFTM Queensland Outsider Art Awards.

AFTM’s Outsider Art Awards have been running since 2008. The Awards showcase impressive artwork from artists living with adversity, mental health issues, physical or intellectual disabilities, or experiencing homelessness and social isolation. Now re-made as the AFTM Queensland Outsider Art Awards and taking place every two years in rotation, for the first time the local Award will be open to artists across Queensland with all entries received exhibited online with a Finalists Exhibition to follow.

Sule Yule, previous an emerging artist award winner, shares her message to go for it and enter in this year’s Queensland Outsider Art Awards.

“I first heard about AFTM through Access Arts. Since that day I’ve done many things with AFTM, all which I have really loved. I have been involved in workshops, mentorships and I have entered artwork for exhibitions and competitions,” says Sue.

 “In 2018, I won an Emerging Artist Award in the Outsider Art Awards. The prize was a 6-month mentorship, which really gave me the confidence as an artist.”

Sue’s inspiration for creativity comes from her mental health condition – Bipolar Disorder. She finds inspiration through all things big and small, even cutting up fruit or making a cup of tea can spark motivation to be creative.

“I have Bipolar, but I don’t have the depression as much as the highs. The highs make me see the world more colourful, and I love showing people that. I have a need to create. I also am inspired by nature and my domestic life.”

Bursting with Joy was the painting that I entered in the 2018 AFTM Outsider Art Awards. It was an absolute joy to paint, I loved every second of it. You know sometimes a painting is difficult or tedious, but that one just flowed. I was so proud of it.

“Since the Awards, I’ve done several paintings. One painting was purchased and auctioned by Wesley Mission QLD and sold for $700, which I donated to charity. That made me feel so proud and happy to be able to do that, that my painting could make that kind of money and help people.

“My advice to those looking to enter in the 2020 AFTM Queensland Outsider Art Awards is to go for it. It’s a great experience and you will learn so much. AFTM creates a safe environment for artists and for those with disability. They treat everyone the same and I am so glad to have a place like it,” says Sue.

Entries for the AFTM Queensland Outsider Art Awards close on 31st July 2020. All artwork will be exhibited online, and finalists will have their artwork displayed at the AFTM Gallery & Studios, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane from 28 September.

To enter in the upcoming exhibition, head to the Art from the Margins webpage.