2018 M16 Drawing Prize | Winners announced

The M16 Drawing Prize is for drawing in either traditional media and techniques, or non-traditional works that extend understanding of what drawing may be within contemporary art practice.

Meet this year’s winners – Waratah Lahy, Tony Curran, and Frances Feasey.

The M16 Drawing Prize $2,500
Waratah Lahy, 5 days at Jigamy Farm

5 day field trip to Jigamy Farm (2018) is the resulting work from a field studies group from the Australian National University School of Art & Design. Waratah Lahy undertook research on the Bundian Way, an ancient Aboriginal pathway running between Mount Kosciuszko and Twofold Bay, Eden.

‘Learning about the shared history and ongoing significance of the Bundian Way was a revelatory and deeply humbling experience. Much of what I learned was gained through quiet observation of the landscape, and in reading the nuances of what was both said and not said by local Elders and other contributors. I translated this way of learning to my drawings – they are observations of place: describing shifts in light and colour, patterns, texture and line.’ – Waratah Lahy

Waratah Lahy, 5 days at Jigamy Farm (detail), 2018, graphite, watercolour pencil, tinted charcoal, water colour and ink on paper, 14 x 160cm


The Delta Cleaning Services Prize ($500 cash prize)
Tony Curran, Wiggly Grids

‘Wiggles and grids have recently become two specific forms that I have worked with because they connote such dramatically different things. A wiggle is fun, playful and organic, while a grid is rational, stable and restricting.’ – Tony Curran

Wiggly Grids (2018) is a hybrid of this exploration into ‘wiggles and grids’ that Curran has been exploring since 2016. By repetitively drawing a sequence of squares in the colours of red, green and blue, the error of the hand started to create distortions in the grids that persisted throughout the work.

Tony Curran, Wiggly Grid, 2018, watercolour marker and gouache on paper, 118.8 x 84cm

The Framing Store, Braddon Prize ($500 framing voucher)
Frances Feasey, Night Watch

‘Drawing forces me to experiment with mark making and to take risks. Because of its immediate nature it allows me to quickly realise an idea. It¹s unforgiving though but I like that and enjoy the process even more.’ – Frances Feasey

Night Watch (2018) has been inspired by back burning in the bush, particularly in the lower Blue mountains NSW. Feasey works up surfaces with a variety of charcoals, conte and pastels on paper and rub back into the work with an eraser or hand or a cloth. Then builds the work back up again with more mark making and repeat the process over and over.

Frances Feasey, Night Watch, 2018, charcoal and conte on paper, 59x79cm

This year’s judging panel included Alison Alder, Head – Printmedia and Drawing, Australian National University School of Art & Design, and Christopher Chapman, Senior Curator, National Portrait Gallery.

Finalists include: Surya Bajracharya, Emma Beer, Joshua Bollback Butler, Katharine Campbell, Susan Chancellor, Tony Curran, Frances Feasey, Lauren Guymer, Anahid Hagobian, Nicci Haynes, Waratah Lahy, Alex Lundy, Kathryn McGovern, Cat Mueller, Kellie O’Dempsey, Annika Romeyn, Kaye Shumack, Alice Turner, Kate Vassallo, and Madisyn Zabel. Their works are currently on show in at M16 Artspace, until 14 December 2018.