Film captures beauty

A dark, atmospheric short film set in a unique void called a 'nowherescape' has won the $25,000 Whyalla Art Prize.

“The Hut 5/4” was produced by South Australian artist CJ Taylor, who describes the setting as ‘a liminal hinterland of collapsible time that is at once bittersweet, life-affirming and deadly’. 

The film was premiered at the Middleback Arts Centre on Monday after Mr Taylor was announced the winner of the art prize, which featured 55 finalists selected from over 200 entrants.

Mr Taylor said the inspiration from the film was taken from the harsh beauty of the bushland surrounding his home on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

“We have a tiny shack on a hill and work on the land in a number of different ways. That strange place is where the work came from,” he said.

“But there’s all manner of things in the work that take from history and various forms of storytelling. There’s slices of reality and bits of pure art that all mixes together to form this big lamination of life.”

Mr Taylor said the short film was a very lyrical piece that did not lock the audience into one meaning or another.

“I like the audience to form their own ideas about the piece. There’s a lot about how I experienced the world in it. It’s about where we live and how we interact with everything around us,” he said.

Mr Taylor said it was ‘incredibly gratifying’ to be named the winner of the Whyalla Art Prize.

“Any number of works could have been the winner, but I’m pleased that my film will be written about and talked about. Ultimately that’s what artists what to get out of their works,” he said.

Judge Paul Snell said there was a solid consensus between all four judges that Mr Taylor’s film was a stand-out submission. “It was kind of a mesmerising work, it’s very cinematic and has an Australian Gothic feel. It’s very rich and tonal while also being cathartic,” he said. “In terms of its production value and its aesthetic it ticked a lot of boxes.” To view part of the film head online to vimeo.com/237354714.