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Winner: Trustees' Watercolour Prize 2012

Susan J White Salamander Bay

This painting was done from memory. In my mind’s eye I went back to a place where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up and where I feel free – Salamander Bay in the Port Stephens area of New South Wales. I love the light, energy and spacial qualities of this environment. I think that there are visual cues that alter our breathing. Architectural structures like gothic cathedrals and mosques affect us psychologically and physically, giving us a sense of wonder and exaltation. Often I have observed people looking at a beautiful vista. They will breathe in deeply, raise their arms and clasp their hands behind their heads. I think that by doing this, more oxygen goes into the brain, which highlights our senses and intensifies our perceptions.

Susan J White, 2012