Mural artist Claire Fuzeillear Matthews has taken out the Fuel Your Passion competition and a whopping $10,000 from Eumundi Brewery, nudging out an impressive cast of Sunshine Coast artists and creatives.
The two runners up were drawing artist Dan Hannay and musician and multi-cultural teacher Samuela Taukave AKA Skillz FJ, each awarded a cheque for $5000.
The Fuel Your Passion competition was shaped by the Eumundi Brewery team to support and fuel the passion of the many artists and innovators on the Coast – aware that the last couple of years had been particularly challenging for the arts and creative sector.
Eumundi Brewery head brewer Chris Sheehan said the final eight were put to a public vote, with Claire and her incredible mural work emerging victorious.
“Full credit to Claire – for such magnificent work, and work with real heart that clearly resonated with local voters,” Chris said.
Bli Bli-based Claire arrived on the Coast (from the UK) 13 years ago and has been painting as Fuzeillear for nine years, her work underpinned by a passion for protecting our environment.
“I paint public murals that highlight and champion our native wildlife species and the challenges they face,” Claire said.
“Winning the comp means I can now paint bigger and better walls and spread the message further.
“Far out, do I love the Sunshine Coast.
“I count myself incredibly blessed to be here and to have been able to contribute to this beautiful community by painting so many murals across the coast.
“Life can be stressful, busy and complicated but I aim to create public art that allows passers-by to stop, take a breath and even just for a moment, drift away.“
Claire’s murals can be found in Maroochydore, Eumundi, Landsborough, Caloundra, Kawana, Maroochydore, Buderim, Nambour and Noosa, as well as further afield.
In designing each piece, she researches the local flora and fauna to make something that will connect specifically to that area, to that community.
“I love painting walls and I count it as a privilege to be invited into a community to do so. My hope is always to leave something that will make a difference, whether that be to remind people of the fragile beauty of the world around us or just to make someone feel a little bit brighter and a little less alone,” Claire said.