Mandorla 2021 People’s Choice winner announced

Congratulations to Western Australian artist Desire Ferreira, winner of the 2021 Mandorla Art Award People’s Choice Award for her painting titled Oremus depicting a young woman focused in wordless prayer. The limited palette of grey and black is highlighted by a central impression of a cross in red and gold leaf.

Desire Ferreira, Oremus, oil on canvas, gold leaf, 112 x 86cm

‘I created impasto textures in Oremus using a limited palette composed of different grey tones to represent reverence and compassion, with a touch of red with gold leaf to represent God. Through Oremus, I endeavour to immerse the viewer into a deep encounter with the heart and mind of God,’ says Ferreira in the accompanying artist statement of her winning entry.

Ferreira’s paintings include dramatic brush strokes, overt textures and limited colour arrangements to elicit emotional responses. ‘I wanted to create an artwork that would immerse the viewer into a deep encounter with the heart and mind of God, and I am pleased to have achieved this,’ said Ferreira of her winning work. 

Abbot John Herbert, Mandorla People’s Choice winner Desire Ferreira, and D’hange Yammanee, with her work Oremus at the Mandorla Gallery at New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery. Photograph: Lyn DiCiero

Deeply honoured to receive the award, Ferreira certainly believes the achievement will ‘propel me forward and help me stay inspired and motivated as an artist.’ On hand was her proud teacher and mentor for the past seven years, artist D’hange Yammanee, who stepped in to drive the seven-and-a-half months pregnant artist to New Norcia in Western Australia for the announcement.

Oremus and selected works from the Mandorla Art Award, Australia’s most significant thematic Christian art prize, are on show at New Norcia, Australia’s only monastic town, until Sunday 9 May 2021.