2011 Blake Prize finalists announced

2011 Blake Prize finalists announced

A focus on place and belonging, concern for the environment and symbolic work from nearly every religious group are just some of the subjects represented in this year’s 72-strong Blake Prize finalist list.

Every year the Blake Prize presents work from some of the country’s highest profile artists alongside the best new talent.

Of note this year is an increased number of new media finalists with representation from some of Australia’s most acclaimed video artists.

The 2011 Blake Prize finalists include: RonnieTjampitjinpa, Colin Vickery, Martin Sharp, Brian Robinson, Nell, Jane Lander, Luke Roberts, Tamara Dean, Khadim Ali (two works shortlisted), Djamhawa Marawili, Jackson Yeo, Shaun Gladwell, Richard Morecroft, Zoe Ali and Christos Tsiolkas, Sanja Pahoki and Sally Gabori.

Blake Society Chair Rod Pattenden said, “Over its 60 years the Blake has become far more than an art prize – it is a conversation about faith, hope and what kind of future we are creating for ourselves as a nation. In an increasingly diverse multicultural context, the Blake is an important cultural resource for the imagination of Australians.

“The Blake always gathers works that will have unexpected perspectives on traditional religious ideas. Religion by its very nature is constantly being challenged and therefore needs a contemporary imagination. I don’t think these are controversial works, but works that will make people think. It is the role of the Blake to connect the wide experiences of spirituality

with the visionary imagining of artists. My observation is that artists love the Blake because of this wide invitation to get to the heart of things.”

This year over 1,100 entries were received from artists around Australia. Artists can use any media or approach.

Past winners have included John Coburn AM, George Gittoes AM, Rosemary Valadon, Eric Smith, Frank Hinder AM, Hilarie Mais, James Gleeson AO and Elwynn Lynn AM.

Every year the Blake Prize judges are chosen to recognise both the diversity of artistic practice, and the range of personal responses to spirituality and religion. Judges for the 60th Blake Prize are Pat Brassington, Artist & Curator, Plimsoll Gallery, University of Tasmania; Dr Julian Droogan, Lecturer, Macquarie University; and Dr Blair French, Executive Director, Artspace, Visual Arts Centre.

Three award categories are available in 2011:

The 60th Blake Prize: $20,000

The John Coburn Emerging Artist Award: $5,000

The MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice: $5,000

The 2011 award winners will be announced at the National Art School Gallery, Forbes St Darlinghurst on Thursday September 15.

The 60th Blake Prize Exhibition will be held at the National Art School Gallery, from Friday September 16 until Saturday October 15.

The 60th Blake Prize Finalist Exhibition is presented by The Blake Society in partnership with the National Art School. Further details can be found here.

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