Portrait of Australian rapper Tkay Maidza wins $25,000 Kennedy Prize

A portrait of Australian singer-songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza has won the 2018 Kennedy Prize, a national visual art competition aiming to inspire artists to create works of excellence, cultural relevance, commercial value and beauty.

Angus Hamra, Tkay Maidza

South Australian expat Angus Hamra, who recently moved to Melbourne, created the winning artwork, simply entitled Tkay Maidza, using aerosol, enamel and brass on canvas. The subject, Maidza, was born in Zimbabwe before moving to Australia in 2001 when she was five years old. Her single Switch Lanes from her debut EP Switch Tape was voted into the Triple J Hottest 100 in 2014 and she has performed at major music festivals including Splendour in the Grass.

Describing his work, Hamra said: ‘Ideas of youth can be seen as a source and subject of beauty. My subject is singer-songwriter and rapper Tkay Maidza. Her insightful music and striking appearance utilise the energy of what it is to be young. Originally from Adelaide, she is a great ambassador for people my age and a compelling subject.’

2018 Kennedy Prize winner, Angus Hamra. Photograph: Brenton Edwards

More than 50 finalists, including Hamra’s winning artwork, are on display at the Kennedy Prize Exhibition in the Royal South Australian Society of the Arts at the State Library from 8 to 23 September 2018, open to the general public. Voting for a People’s Choice Award will be conducted during the exhibition, while the Foundation’s Choice will showcase an exciting array of emerging and established Australian artistic talent.