Gaypalani Wanambi wins Australia’s highest-value women’s art prize

From over a hundred finalists, Gaypalani Wanambi’s artwork Dawurr has won the $35,000 Professional Artist Prize category in the 2024 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, an annual acquisitive award, the highest value professional artist prize for women in Australia.

Jade Oakley, Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize patron, judge and practising artist, said, “The fine engravings of Dawurr have a jewellery-like quality, and light is refracted by the intricately worked surface of the artwork, so that as the viewer moves the shimmering details of the artwork appear to change in response. Gaypalani is part of the Found movement of artists from East Arnhem Land, who have developed a contemporary practice of making artworks from discarded industrial materials. Dawurr is etched onto a battered, reclaimed road sign and she has used a found object that life has already acted upon, and in doing so has transformed a discarded object into a coveted work of art.”

Wanambi is based in Northeast Arnhem Land, approximately 700km east of Darwin and is represented by Michael Reid, Sydney.

Gaypalani Wanambi, Dawurr

Sydney-based artist Chris Gleisner won the $5,000 Emerging Artist Prize for her sculpture Sculpted Triangles, which the judges described as “infused with a sense of discovery and play as the artist has experimented and pushed the humblest of materials to explore sophisticated concepts.”

Chris Gleisner, Sculpted Triangles

Sisters Nancy Long Nungarrayi and Rene Long Nungarrayi, from Ali Curung, north-east of Alice Springs, have won the $5,000 Indigenous Emerging Artist Prize for their collaborative artwork Pereltye. The artwork depicts the sugary white substance, or bush lollies, gathered from the leaves of the River Red Gums, an act they remember their mother doing and it is to her credit that the two they learned how to paint this story. Of the work, the judges said:

“The dot points form a shimmering constellation that seems to vibrate with energy and a sense of movement. Through tonal variation, the composition suggests topography or the night sky resplendent with stars.”

Nancy Long Nungarrayi and Rene Long Nungarrayi, Pereltye

The 2024 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize entries demonstrated “an awe-inspiring exploration of materiality with a notable focus on abstraction, from colour field to lyrical, geometric and minimalist,” said Anne Johnstone, Principal of Ravenswood School for Girls. View the works of this year’s finalists at Ravenswood School for Girls, Gordon, New South Wales, from 11 to 26 May or through a virtual exhibition tour online.

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