Raymond Arnold wins the 2017 Glover Prize

“My dream of the ghost ship, the ship of ghosts Delacroix’s ‘breakthrough’ painting and a Situationist ‘switch’ Détournement – Departed souls crossing the Styx”. – Raymond Arnold

Raymond Arnold, La Barque de Dante/Macquarie Harbour Party Barge, 2017, acrylic on canvas (diptych), 102 x 153cm

Two thumbs up for Tasmanian artist Raymond Arnold, who has just won his second Glover Prize, Australia’s most prestigious landscape art award aiming to stimulate conversations about the meaning and possibilities expressed in the words landscape, painting, and Tasmania.

Resting comfortably as a landscape of exceptional skill and presence, while remaining true to its industrial theme, Arnold’s 2017 offering ­ La Barque de Dante/Macquarie Harbour Party Barge ­ was the unanimous choice of the three independent judges; Eleonora Triguboff, Chair/Publisher ARTAND Foundation and Dott Books; Dr Mary Knights, Senior Curator of Art at Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery; and, Ben Quilty, artist.

La Barque de Dante/Macquarie Harbour Party Barge is essentially about getting old and noting people of consequence passing away and in looking for a visual motive to carry this melancholic spirit, I settled on the Strahan Party Barge”, says Arnold. “This is a sublime, possibly absurd contrast. The death of one’s friends and family and the structure for getting wasted on Macquarie Harbour; but the link is 22-year-old, Eugene Delacroix’s breakthrough from Dante.”

“Winning the Glover Prize 2017 is very emotional for me. While it is nice to receive the $40,000 prize, most artists will tell you that winning the prestigious Glover Prize is about much more than the money. To be recognised as an artist by one’s peers,” he added.

Raymond Arnold with his winning Glover Prize 2017 artwork, La Barque de Dante/Macquarie Harbour Party Barge

Arnold lives and works in Queenstown, Tasmania. Since 1977, his work has appeared in 54 solo exhibitions and 126 group national exhibitions as well as shows in London, France, Scotland and Washington USA. Arnold’s works are represented in many national, state and regional gallery collections in Australia; and major institutions in France, United Kingdom and the USA. He is represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart and Australian Galleries, Melbourne.

In addition to Arnold’s win, the judges have awarded artist Joan Kelly the highly commended prize for her work, titled Listening Close: ‘Joan of Arc’.

Speaking on behalf of his fellow judges, Ben Quilty said both Arnold and Kelly are artists and activists; “The judges were drawn to Raymond Arnold’s and Joan Kelly’s visceral and powerful response to the landscape of Tasmania. Neither of their works are pretty paintings, instead both artists have explored ideas of environmental and psychological histories of contested landscapes.”

“In selecting his work, the judges congratulate Raymond Arnold for his dark and brooding acrylic painting as the winner of the Glover Prize 2017,” Quilty added.

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