From Sharne Wolff…
There’s nothing like an award to get the art world humming – especially when it’s a rich prize (with total award money of $36,000) that includes some of Australia’s better-known contemporary artists. Curated in its 19th year by artist Tim Johnson, the uniqueness of this prize is its inbuilt mentoring philosophy. The twenty -two established artists invited by Johnson became selectors themselves when each nominated an emerging artist for the award. Judged by a panel that included Lisa Havilah, the winner of this year’s major award was Mikala Dwyer. Dwyer’s paradoxically empty Untitled sculpture is aptly described by its inventory of simple media – [transparent] plastic and air. Occupying a spot somewhere between painting and photography, Coen Young’s reflective silver Study for a Mirror pair of works was a deserving winner in the emerging artists category.
While it’s also a matter for serious thought, there’s always some fun in attempting to work out the connections between curator and established artist; and that artist and their selected protégé. As for a theme, well Johnson didn’t spell it out but there’s a palpable sense of the physical environment in the room – with notable works by Sophie Cape, Tamara Dean, Hiromi Tango, James Nguyen and many more in that category. With so much talent on display, this show is worth the trip.
The full list of established and emerging artist pairings for 2015 is: Mikala Dwyer and Stevie Fieldsend; Dennis Del Favero and Tanya Dyhin; Geoff Kleem and Coen Young; Hany Armanious and Ruth McConchie; Archie Moore and Dale Harding; Bindi Cole Chocka and Jayden Reynolds; Shaun Gladwell and Dean Cross; Fiona Foley and Nasim Nasr; Joshua Yeldham and Tamara Dean; Rod Moss and Linda Joy; Hiromi Tango and Arie Hellendoorn; Jenny Watson and Matthew Sneesby; Maria Fernanda Cardoso and Gary Warner; Helga Groves and Gian Manik; Marion Borgelt and Jessica Mais Wright; Claire Healy + Sean Cordeiro and James Nguyen; Raquel Ormella and Emma Beer; Fiona Lowry and Timothy Moore; Lucas Davidson and Kate Beckingham; Sophie Cape and Juz Kitson; Narelle Jubelin and Lucy Bleach.
Until May 23
National Art School Gallery, Darlinghurst
Pic: Coen Young Study for a mirror 1, Study for a mirror 2, 2015?[one part of diptych pictured], Acrylic, marble dust, enamel and silver nitrate on paper, 205 x 115 cm each. Courtesy the artist.