Exhibition captures essence of Illawarra

The entire Illawarra has been distilled into one room.

It is the work of the Friends of Wollongong Art Gallery and its Postcodes From The Edge competition, with dozens of local artists lending their images of the region to take over an entire wing of the gallery.

Artists were asked to create an image of the Illawarra, with works arranged by postcode on the gallery walls.

Thirroul artist Paul Baker was announced as the competition winner at the exhibition's official opening event on Friday night, with his painting of fibro houses at Cringila.

"I'm just fascinated by these sorts of old houses. All the new housing estates these days are all squashed together with no real character," Baker said.

"I saw this street scene and was really inspired by it, with the steelworks in the background."

Jude Rose and Ben Piggott were awarded second and third place respectively, while Linda Fuller was the recipient of the President's Prize for a series of watercolours, painted on actual postcards, of Australia Day at Belmore Basin.

Fuller said the sheer number and quality of entries to the competition showed the vibrancy and talent of the Illawarra's artistic community.

"There is such diversity in the works shown here, and so many different mediums," Fuller said.

The Postcodes From The Edge exhibition runs until May 18 at Wollongong Art Gallery.

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