Now in its 13th year, ‘The Gallipoli Art Prize’ is an acquisitive competition whereby the Gallipoli Memorial Club has built up a substantial and important collection of works for future generations.
The competition is open to all Australian, New Zealand and Turkish artists responding to the broad themes of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship as expressed in the Gallipoli Club’s creed;
‘We believe that within the community there exists an obligation for all to preserve the special qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli Campaign and bequeathed to all humanity as a foundation for perpetual peace and universal freedom.’
Every year the paintings submitted to the Gallipoli Art Prize tell personal and often emotional stories about Australia’s involvement in armed conflict over the last century, making it a unique and important art competition that reflects deeply upon a nation’s identity and the legacy of war across generations.
The 2018 finalists are: Alison Mackay, Ashley Frost, Chloe Cassidy, Craig Handley, Donald Braben, Emma Liu, Geoff Harvey, Glen Preece, Hugh MacDonald, Hugh Tranter, Jeffrey Kendal, John Colet School, John Skillington, Judy Paradice, Katie Gillgren, Kristin Hardiman, Lara Balog, Lindy Brodie, Lori Pensini, Lynne Mullane, Margaret Hadfield, Mark Dober, Max Berry, Paul Gorjan, Peter Smeeth, Rebecca Stock, Robert Hammill, Robert Williams, Rodney Pople, Rosalind Friday, Simon Gaunt,Steve Lopes and Xanthe Muston.
Their works vary in subject matter and the emotions they evoke with each entry. The accompanying artist statements for their entries reveal poignant insights and incredible stories that add an extra dimension to the collection of works that will be on display.
Unknown Soldier by Lori Pensini depicts an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island soldier in Gallipoli; ‘I wanted to paint the trepidation, the commitment and courage it took an Indigenous person to fight for a country, his country, that didn’t legally recognise him,’ says the artist.
Lynne Mullane’s Pride in Service depicts her grandfather Charles Leslie (Les) Webster, a Light Horseman who served in WWI in the Middle East, while others focus on the battlegrounds, surrounding landscapes and the many animals who served, suffered and died alongside their human companions and dependable comrades.
The 2018 judging panel included Jane Watters (Director, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney), Barry Pearce (former Head Curator of Australian Art, AGNSW) and John Robertson (Director, Gallipoli Memorial Club).
The winner of the $20, 000 prize will be announced on Wednesday 18 April in Sydney at Club Bondi Junction RSL whilst the Gallipoli Memorial Club in Circular Quay undergoes redevelopment. All finalists’ works will be displayed at the aforementioned venue from 19 to 27 April 2018.