Finalists announced for 2012 The Blake Prize

Finalists announced for 2012 The Blake Prize

After attracting 1126 entries this year, The Blake Society has today announced 53 finalists for The Blake Prize. Included is a number of leading contemporary practitioners and exciting emerging artists, a record number of 33 female artists and a notable number of the works featuring less traditional religious messaging (the full list of finalists and details shown in attached PDF).

“We challenge artists to explore the relationship between art, religion and spirituality. The Blake is one of the most open ended and diverse prizes in Australia and this year’s entries are evidence of that,” said the Rev. Dr Rod Pattenden, Chairperson for The Blake Society.

A number of well-known Australian artists’ works have been selected, including internationally celebrated artists Janet Laurence and Julie Rrap, both of whom have judged the prize in previous years.

Tim Johnson, an extraordinary artist known for his spiritual iconography across a range of cultures, and Danie Mellor are also included. Exciting emerging artists Justine Varga and Peter Fyfe have been chosen and of the 53 finalists, 33 of those are by women.

“In the Blake we see artists trying to uncover the spark of insight, illumination and shock that gives rise to religious feelings. This year the selection thrives on diverse ideas that range from the nature of mysticism to the hard realities of everyday life,” said Pattenden.

This year’s panel of judges included Professor Roland Boer, from the School of Humanities and Social Science and Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Fellicity Fenner, Acting Director at COFA Galleries, and UNSW Collage of Fine Arts, and Hossein Valamanesh, acclaimed Australian contemporary artist known for blending his Iranian culture with Australian’s iconic landscapes and elements.

Contributing to the increased diversity of the prize, the finalists have used a variety of mediums from traditional oil, to ink on paper, ceramic, photography and digital media, and the 53 selected finalists come from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds.

The works were submitted from around Australia: three works from ACT, 35 from New South Wales, two from QLD, two from TAS, 10 from VIC and one from WA.The 53 finalists are vying for three awards: the MUA Blake Prize for Human Justice ($5000), the 61st Blake Prize ($20,000) and the John Coburn Emerging Artist Award ($5000).

The 2012 award winners will be announced on Thursday November 8, 2012. The exhibition will open to public from Friday November 9 until December 16, 2012.

The Blake will be shown at the S.H.Ervin Gallery, Observatory Hill Sydney.

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