News & Insights

Global warming explored in arresting piece of work, winning the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Arts Grant for August.

20 Aug 20 · Community & Culture

LUMAS Gallery and Sequana are thrilled to announce the August recipient of the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Arts Grant Program, Jenny Reddin from Melbourne.


An abstract artist by trade, Jenny was moved to express her fears and frustrations about the state of the world in a more obvious way and her winning piece ‘Evolution’ was born from this.

‘Evolution’ is a thought-provoking painting executed in a style reminiscent of an ancient washed out photograph, but with an important underlying message told through a powerful visual.

Jenny painted the piece earlier this year in response to news articles that appeared in the press about global warming, rising sea levels and threatened extinction of species. In particular, a report in the Washington Post of record temperatures in Verkhoyansk, a town in Siberia north of the Arctic Circle that reached 38° – the hottest temperature every recorded in that region – resonated with her.

The image in ‘Evolution’ of a whale in a dry and arid landscape is intended to jolt the viewer into recognising the impossibility of life without water. Whales will not evolve into creatures that will survive on land and humans will not evolve into beings that can live without water.


The judging panel, which consisted of Anouska Phizacklea, Director of Monash Gallery of Art (MGA); Eugenia Wilson, Managing Director, LUMAS Gallery Australia; and Mike Walsh and Frank Fisseler, Managing Partners, Sequana, were taken by the arresting nature of the piece and how it provoked a conversation.

“The winning work suspends us in a surreal reality – where sea mammals fly and the earth is a no man’s land. It challenges us, asks us to ask questions and makes us think about the world in new ways,” said Anouska Phizacklea, Director, Monash Gallery of Art.

“The whale in my painting is intended as a metaphor for life.  They, like all animals on the Earth rely on a fragile balance of nature for survival.  When they can no longer survive in the oceans there is no life as we know it on the planet,” said Jenny.

“The image of the whale in the landscape is surrounded by what appears to be an old fashioned picture frame.  The purpose of the frame is twofold; on one hand it creates a heightened feel of space within a space which seeks to focus the viewer on the central image, the Whale.  Secondly, framing the image in a way that references the past seeks to highlight the distance between a time before our awareness of global warming and a future where whales evolve to live on dry land.”

It is Jenny’s intention to use the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Art Grant to produce a series of works that bring to focus the issues that face humankind and to show that it is not possible to continue our current trajectory of global damage whilst maintaining a richness of life that includes diversity of species, habitat, water and food source.

“This artwork made me return to it over and over again. I wanted to keep looking at it and finding out more about the subject, the whale, and the artwork itself. I think the power of any artwork to make you return to it over and over again, question what is presented and entice dialogue speaks of a very strong work,” said Eugenia Wilson, Managing Director, LUMAS Gallery Australia.

Sequana Managing Partners, Mike Walsh and Frank Fisseler are passionate about the arts and helping artists during these difficult times and the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Arts Grant Program is a joint initiative by project management consultancy Sequana Partners and LUMAS, and is designed to support and celebrate creatives of all calibres, providing Australian artists with both funding and a platform to showcase their work.

The program marks both LUMAS Gallery and Sequana’s commitment and dedication in support of ventures and community programs at a grass roots level. The program aims to empower artists by recognising the craft and livelihood of the incredible pool of talented Australian artists.

Applications for the next monthly grant are open until Monday 31 August and will be awarded each month until December 2020, providing a one-off grant of $4,000 as well as host each winner’s work in an exhibition in January 2021 to showcase the six winning artworks.