Meet the winners of our Tea Towel Art Contest

Dec 9, 2022

More than 200 residents across Australia channelled their inner Picasso, designing beautiful artworks in a contest aimed at inspiring creativity, social connections, and support for residents’ physical and cognitive wellbeing.

Queensland winner Hilda Cranston, and her Gumtree artwork

Taree resident, Dallas Dyball has taken out first place for New South Wales in the Ingenia Gardens Tea Towel Art Contest with his captivating take on the iconic koala.

Mr Dyball, who has lived in his Ingenia Gardens community since 2019 said it felt great to win for New South Wales. “I was not expecting it at all! I was very pleased with myself. When we were all doing our artworks, I had a look at some of the other residents’ pieces and hoped that my artwork would be in with a chance.

“There were a lot of great pieces in the community,” he said.

“I’ve made a bit of a hobby out of drawing koalas.

They’re a very majestic creature and I love to capture them in

their element out in the trees.”

Dallas Dyball

“It’s devastating that they’re declining in the wild. “I’ve never actually drawn a koala in this mosaic
style before though. I thought that if this was going to be on a tea towel it had better have some colour in it to make it stand out.

Dallas Dyball’s eye-catching Koala drawn in a mosaic style

“Once you get the outline and the idea of what the koala is supposed to look like in a tree, all you have to do is fill the blank spaces like a puzzle. It didn’t take me long to do at all.

“I don’t always get into a lot of the community events here, so I immensely enjoyed this contest. I can’t wait to do it again next year!” he said.

Ingenia Gardens Taree Community Manager Amanda Howton said the Tea Towel Contest had been a blessing for the community. “This contest was really wonderful; it gave everyone something exciting to look forward to. Many of my residents love art and find it very therapeutic, it’s a great creative outlet,” she said.

“Dallas has done a wonderful job with his artwork, and we are all extremely proud of him for winning. I can’t wait
to see what everyone comes up with next year.”

Ingenia Gardens Taree Community Manager Amanda Howton

Carey Park resident, Claire McRae has taken out first place for Western Australia in the Ingenia Gardens Tea Towel Art Contest with her design based on Australia’s iconic flora, the bottlebrush.

Ms McRae, who has only been living in the Carey Park community for five months said she was extremely excited to receive the news that she had won the contest for Western Australia.

“I submitted my work back in August and hadn’t heard since. I wasn’t expecting to receive a phone call, but it was an exciting win!” Ms McRae said. “

“It’s wonderful to know my artwork will be on tea towels throughout other people’s homes.

The bottlebrush is such a lovely Australian plant.”

Claire McRae
Western Australia Winner, Claire McRae’s winning design based on the bottlebrush

“My painting is an acrylic work; it took about six hours across a few Friday afternoons. I chose the bottle brush because it’s one of the plants growing here in our garden. “I decided to photograph the plant and blew it up on the computer then printed it off and painted it from there,” she said. When asked about her experience with painting, Ms McRae said being artistic runs through her blood. “My mother was actually an artist and I’ve carried that on throughout the years. I’ve done artwork and photography on and off since the 1970s and it’s something I have really enjoyed,” she said.

As a new resident to the community, the Tea Towel Contest has been a helpful way for Ms McRae to make valuable social connections with her neighbours.

“I’ve only been here five months, I’m still new to the routine here but this contest was a great way for me to meet new people and start new friendships. It was good to have that community spirit,” she said. “I really enjoyed sitting around the table and doing the artwork with so many other people. The other residents participating in the contest would all come up to the community room and we’d get together and do our artworks in each other’s company. “I’m looking forward to participating in next year’s contest! It would be lovely to have a chance to do this again.”

Ingenia Gardens Carey Park Community Manager Trudy Turner said Ms McRae is an extremely clever artist. “Claire does amazing things. She’s very experienced with her art and it’s great that her talent has been recognised,” she said. “The whole community really enjoyed this activity, and it was wonderful to see them all make a unique stamp on their art. Every piece was special in its own way and I’m proud of the residents for having a go.”

Steve Jarvis ‘Outback Watering Hole’ won for Victoria