A love of women’s football and art has resulted in a local artist’s work being recognised among the best of Broome’s art scene in the midst of Shinju Matsuri celebrations. Naomie Hatherley’s canvas painting Heretic won the Shire of Broome acquisitive prize at the Shinju Matsuri Art Awards after impressing a panel of judges. Hatherley said it was surprising and shocking to have her work acquired by the Shire. “I just feel so overwhelmed with gratitude that my work has been appreciated in that way, and to be in the Shire’s collection is a great honour and privilege,” she said. “I imagine all of the works they have in their collection would be quite a load, but it would be lovely to see my work on display so the public can engage with it over time.” Heretic follows in the theme of some of Hatherley’s previous work that features women’s football, as well as pieces she produced more than a decade ago. “What some people don’t know is that my first solo exhibition back in 2007 was about football as a religion,” she said. “In those days when Ben Cousins was starting to spiral out of control and he was still heralded as a hero, so I was quite intrigued by everybody’s obsession with football and what the magic was. “At the time, my husband found these scorecards for me and I kept them for 15 years or so and when my daughter started playing football it reinvigorated my interest. “To be honest, I was quite surprised at how much I’ve really enjoyed football. “Watching the women play and seeing the diversity of women in terms of age and background come together on the field and feel like it goes hand-in-hand with women in art in the sense of just getting out there and fighting for their place.” Among some of the other pieces that were on display during the 2020 Shinju Matsuri Art Awards exhibition were artworks produced by some of Hatherley’s visual arts students at Broome Senior High School, including youth art award winner Albert Clifton for his piece Dry Season. Hatherley said it was really exciting to see Broome Senior High School so well represented in the exhibition. “Having an award like this, I feel like I have been endorsed by some external authority but for the community and my students, they might regard me as a worthy teacher,” she said. “To share the space with them is a real thrill so it’s so good to see that they’re taking the opportunity to show off their talents because there are so few opportunities for artists up here.” Last year’s acquisitive prize winner Jacky Cheng took out the sculpture award with her piece The Best Kept Secret. Stephen Eastaugh won the mixed media award, Erin McManis won the painting award, Alan Thomas Gray won the photography award, and Dorothy Forest won the Aboriginal art award.