Sharyne’s Archies honour

Sharyne Doensen with Yarra Ranges Mayor Richard Higgins at Healesville Hotel.

By Jed Lanyon

Yarra Glen resident Sharyne Doensen was named as the Audience Choice winner for the 2019 Not the Archies portrait competition.

Over 2000 votes for 97 different artworks were received by the community for the Audience Choice Award, with Ms Doensen’s portrait taking the crown.

The Mail reported Ms Doensen’s achievement last year and now she shares her experience of taking out the local art prize.

“I was a bit flattered really and very shocked when they phoned to say I had won,” she said.

“The Yarra Ranges is a very diverse council so I wanted to represent something that was really diverse.”

Ms Doensen’s portrait ‘Yvie’ is a patchwork collage, which she describes as a blend of all things Yarra Valley, representing the resilient farmer to the patient winemaker. She drew inspiration from Deborah Halpern’s mosaic ‘Angel’ which sits along Birrarung Mar in Melbourne.

“I just tried to represent something that was really colourful and really juxtaposed and that stuck together like a little puzzle like something that she would do.

“I did it purely for the joy of doing it and being involved in something within the community that was a positive thing.”

Ms Doensen joked that she was competing with her partner Andrew Callow, who also entered into the portrait competition.

The project saw nearly 250 portraits created by the community of someone who they think is great, from September to mid-November. For her efforts, Ms Doensen won a $300 food and accommodation package from Healesville Hotel. Mr Callow joked that they plan to spend it all in one night.

“It’s nice just to have the recognition and have someone say that it’s a nice piece of work.” Ms Doensen said.

“I think that it’s such a lovely thing to see a council put forward something that is community based and so positive… A lot of the time councils are so focused on the roads and rubbish, but it’s important for a council to make sure that there are endeavours that are out there for people to enjoy.”

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