Twenty-seven finalists are in the running for the prestigious $25,000 R & M McGivern Prize for 2016, the winner of which will be announced at the finalists’ exhibition launch, at 6pm on Friday 16 September at ArtSpace, Realm.
The R & M McGivern Prize is awarded every three years for an outstanding artwork in oil, gouache, acrylic or watercolour. This year’s theme of “text” attracted entries from more than 200 emerging, mid-career and established artists from across Australia. The shortlist draws together artists working with text – or the idea of text – from a variety of perspective. Texta Queen’s work (below) ‘Congratulations’ shows a certificate awarded to a ‘Good White Person’. The work, in the words of the artist, ‘critically examines concepts of race by flipping the lens onto anti-racist identity.’ Jon Campbell’s ‘On for Young and Old’ explores the power and meaning of words from vernacular language and popular culture. In Campbell’s work the letters are abstracted, a sort of visual puzzle, and Campbell explains that ‘the viewer becomes part of the work as they unravel the text and say the phrase.’
The pre-selection judging panel consisted of eminent experts Lisa Byrne (Curator, ArtSpace at Realm), Charlotte Day (Director Monash University Art Museum) and Helen Hughes (Research Curator Monash University Art Museum), who noted: “The entries reflected a diversity of cultural and artistic influences. It was exciting to receive a range of entries that evidenced a strong commitment to social justice and reflection on the ways in which globalisation impacts communication’’.
The winner of the R & M McGivern Art Prize for 2016 will be judged by Victoria Lynn, Director of the Tarrawarra Museum of Art. Council will acquire the winning painting for the Maroondah City Art Collection.
The winner will be announced at the opening of the finalists’ exhibition on Friday 16 September at ArtSpace at Realm, 179 Maroondah Highway, Ringwood (opposite Ringwood Station). The exhibition runs until Sunday 20 November and entry is free. ArtSpace at Realm is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 8pm and on weekends from 10am to 5pm. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Award, valued at $1000 and sponsored by Maroondah City Council. See the website for further information: http://www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/Artspace.aspx
The finalists for the 2016 R & M McGivern Prize are:
Vernon Ah Kee | Benjamin Aitken | Robert Andrew | Peter Atkins | Chris Bond | Angela Brennan | Janet Burchill | Jon Campbell | Evelyn Coleman | Sarah crowEST | Kate Daw | Sandra Eterovic | Christine Fontana | Gavin Fry | Katherine Hattam | Rachael Haynes | Gordon Hookey | Peter James Smith | Alice Lang | Dane Lovett | Daniel McKewen | Ilya Milstein | Rose Nolan | Elizabeth Newman | Kenny Pittock | Texta Queen | Alan Young