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Artist's work prized

Monday, 13th September, 2010

* Deirdre Edwards presents two books to City Council's archives officer Brian Tonkin at Charles Rasp Memorial Library on Friday. * Deirdre Edwards presents two books to City Council's archives officer Brian Tonkin at Charles Rasp Memorial Library on Friday.

Luck seems to be on Deirdre Edwards' side lately, after she took out first prize at an inter-state art exhibition and saw her book about the lives of ordinary regional women ride a new wave of success.

The popular local artist, who now spends her time between Broken Hill and Moonta Bay, took out first prize at the Port Pirie Art Prize recently for her piece "Bundaleer Leaf Litter".
The etching takes walking through a forest to another level, illustrating the leaf litter which builds up in the forest, rather than focusing on obvious aspects of the forest such as trees, the sky and the wildlife.
Mrs Edwards said the work was taken right off her workshop wall, and she gave no thought to the prize that she could win.
"It was last minute, I just plucked it off the wall and decided to put it in," she said.
The artist won the Open Prize worth $2500, which is awarded to the artist that best reflects the connection and relevance of the Southern Flinders Ranges and Port Pirie.
"It topped off my year when I won."
The award is her 20th to date since first winning an award for her work 17 years ago.
In conjunction with her award, several major NSW girls' private schools have picked up her new book "Paparazzi in Print" for their school libraries.
Mrs Edwards said the book reflects the "significant contribution" women have made to Broken Hill and the surrounding areas.
The women who were researched in the book were "everyday" women, who had no job and no standing in society.
Mrs Edwards said the book had already been sold out and is currently in its second edition.
"It wasn't meant to be this substantial."
Already the book has been picked up by collectors, libraries and overseas buyers, as well as the city's local library.
Mrs Edwards has donated two copies of the book - one for archives and one for readers - to the Charles Rasp Memorial Library.
Librarian Marvis Schofield said the books were much appreciated.
"Most of our archives are about men and mining, so it's very good to have history about the efforts of women," Ms Schofield said.
Historian Brian Tonkin, who was presented with the book on Friday, also spoke highly of it because it highlighted women in the community.
The local historian said he liked how the book concentrated on the biographies of the regional women.
"It looks at what women have been doing."
Mrs Edwards also donated a copy of her "Parallel 1930 - Broken Hill Women in the 1930's" which was launched in March this year as part of the exhibition of the same name.
The exhibition is open until October 4 at the Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery.

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