The ‘2017 Blacktown Arts Prize’ received a record number of 602 entries from ranging from nationally recognised artists to local emerging artists.
Brisbane-based artist Tess Mehonoshen was awarded the ‘2017 Blacktown Arts Prize’ for Measuring Loss, a thoughtful and tactile sculpture made of cement, clay, iron oxide and fabric; its mournful nature invoking images of environmental destruction, the holocaust and death.
This year’s judging panel – Khadim Ali (artist and Blacktown resident), Dominic Mersch (gallery owner and arts advocate) and Felicity Fenner (curator, academic and Director of UNSW Galleries) – referred to the winning artwork as ‘slow release’ and said, ‘the longer we spent with the work the more it touched on various subjects such as environmental destruction, death, the Holocaust, and loss of health due to mining.’
Highly Commended were Carol Ann Fitzgerald for Landscape and Memory – Wiradjuri Country, and Minka Gillian for Pink Outburst – A Self Portrait.
Kristone Capistrano of Rooty Hill was awarded the Local Artist Prize for Breath, an arresting yet optimistic gray-scale depiction of a newborn baby. The judges said ‘the work was technically proficient, went beyond grace, and pointed to the future of multiculturalism in Blacktown.’
Highly Commended was Terry Murphy of Riverstone for Tabulae Unum Ex Oculis.
First prize in the Aboriginal Artist category was Naomi Grant for Dad’s Country; the artist was praised for her contemporary style of blending Indigenous painting techniques with Western agricultural landscape depictions to create a fresh take on abstract painting.
Highly Commended was Peter Hinton for Quality of a Few Minutes #1 and 2 – A Study on Whitlam.
The ‘2017 Blacktown City Art Prize’ is currently on show at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre, Sydney until 27 January 2018. Visitors can cast their vote for the People’s Choice Award throughout the exhibition.