Nice Lady Wins Prize

News Aug 15, 2013 No Comments

Congratulations to Mabel Juli, winner of the $25,000 Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013…

Winner announced Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013

One of Australia’s most cherished Indigenous artists, Mabel Juli, has won the $25,000 Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013 for her refined, minimal painting Garnkeny Ngarranggarni (Moon Dreaming).

A respected Gija elder, 80 year old Mabel travelled from her home at Warmun in the East Kimberley to accept the award at this evening’s opening of Under the sun: the Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013 exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne.

The judges said Mabel’s use of natural pigments conveyed the potency of country and the ancient, enduring essence of the Ngarranggarni (Dreaming).
“At the same time, the work communicates across many cultural symbols, presenting an interplay between various artistic forms and between many beliefs and traditions,” they said.

“It is poetic, sophisticated and deeply grounded in Indigenous tradition but also extends outward to suggest the complex relationships that exist between diverse cultural and natural human experiences.”

mabel juli_garnkeny ngarranggarni

Garnkeny Ngarranggarni (2010) was selected from a shortlist of diverse and innovative works by artists from remote, regional and urban Australia, including Teresa Baker (SA), Daniel Boyd (QLD/NSW), Hector Burton (SA), Timothy Cook (Tiwi/NT), the late Kunmarnanya Mitchell (WA), Alick Tipoti (TSI/Qld), Garawan Wanambi (NT) and Regina Wilson (NT).

“There is an exciting energy about both the individual works and between all the works as they collectively reflect on an intricate range of histories and cultures,” the judges said.

The annual Kate Challis RAKA Award was established in 1988 by the late Professor Emeritus Bernard Smith to honour the memory of his late wife, Kate Challis. The $25,000 prize is offered to various artistic disciplines in a five-year cycle: creative prose, drama, scriptwriting, poetry and the 2013 category, visual arts.

Previous visual arts winners include Gali Gurruwiwi (2009), Ricky Maynard (2003), Brook Andrew (1998) and Lin Onus (1993).

The 2013 judging panel comprised Dr Tony Birch, School of Culture & Communication, University of Melbourne; Associate Professor Alison Inglis, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne; Ms Elizabeth Heathcote, representative of the Challis family; Dr Jolanta Nowak, Australian Centre, University of Melbourne; and Ms Bala Starr, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne.

Under the sun: The Kate Challis RAKA Award 2013, the exhibition of the finalists’ work continues at the Ian Potter Museum of Art until November 3, 2013.

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Andrew Frost

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