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Impact of Climate change explored in winning entry of the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Arts Grant Program.

21 Jul 20 · People

LUMAS Gallery and Sequana are thrilled to announce the first recipient of the LUMAS Gallery and Sequana Arts Grant Program, Prudence Bansemer from Victoria.


Prudence’s winning submission ‘Pink Lake’ was inspired by the increased threat of climate change and increasing awareness of the importance of water to global ecosystems.

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, was impressed with the strong link to water, sustainability and the environment in the winning artwork – a key part of the assessment criteria.

‘Pink Lake’ was shot at Melbourne’s Westgate Park, where Saltwater Lake’s rosy hue has become a tourist attraction. The lake’s pink colour is due to a combination of high salt levels, high temperatures and lack of rainfall. The lake – which first turned pink in 2012 and has been changing colour every summer since – could be considered a litmus test of the effects of climate change.


“Pink Lake is a work that speaks strongly to the intent of the art grants that are proudly supported by Lumas and Sequana and goes to the heart of the assessment criteria. The photograph addresses environmental concerns around the pollution and degradation of the waterways, and the impact of humans on this vital resource. The work itself, of a pastel and slightly strange pink, feels as if it is a constructed landscape, however, Prudence has altered the perspective, allowing the riverbank to rise up as if a traditional landscape,” said Anouska Phizacklea, Director, Monash Gallery of Art.

Prudence speaks of her intent for the work to remind viewers of the impact climate change can have on water systems and wider ecologies and prompt them to consider their consumption of nature.

“The lake attracts swathes of tourists each summer, but there have been few questions asked in the public sphere about why this colour change occurs, and why it has only started happening in the past decade. So I invite the viewer to explore the tension between their curiosity about this striking phenomenon, and the often uncomfortable relationships between our consumption of nature and the degradation of the natural environment,” said Prudence.


Growing up in rural Victoria, Prudence spent more than fifteen years traveling, working and living all over the world. The experiences she gathered informed her interest in social and environmental justice and led to her current undertaking of a Bachelor of International Studies at RMIT.

Prudence’s experiences have inspired her to use art as a tool to fight complacency, leading her to produce works that encourage questions and help challenge the status quo. Through her work as an emerging artist, Prudence aims to capture images that explore the beauty of humanity, but her work also delves into the harsh realities of our impact on the natural environment.

“Pink Lake immediately caught my eye along the first round of entries. The bold, pastel pink colour in contrast with the natural and wild Australian landscape sparks curiosity about the point of view. The composition of raw elements in this artwork allow the viewer to question the reality of what they know of the “natural world” around them, and in turn, their impact on the environment,” said Eugenia Wilson, Managing Director, LUMAS Gallery Australia.

The strength of this piece lies in the details, the various textures and intricacies tied into two opposing elements, earth and water. Allowing the viewer to see this from an aerial perspective ultimately results in an opposing effect, grounding to the reality of human impact on the climate and its ripple effects on the natural world in a colourfully profound manner.”

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 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 Partner’s commitment and dedication in support of ventures and community programs at a grassroots 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 Friday 31 July 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.