Since its inception in 2004, the biennial ‘Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award’ has attracted artists at various stages in their careers from across Australia. The acquisitive prize provides a contemporary platform for these artists to ponder the myriad perspectives and challenges inherent within the interconnections of land and sea reflecting on ‘tidal’ – the natural, cultural, personal or political concerns related to the sea and coastal regions. The award also encouraging excellence in conception, innovation and execution of 2-dimensional artwork.
This year’s 22 finalists and winner were selected by two nationally recognised art experts, Jane Devery Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, and Jane Stewart, Principal Curator of Art at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.
“The judges were very thorough in their selection spending a great deal of time with each work. Narrowing the prize down to one recipient wasn’t an easy task, but the resulting decision will make a great addition to the Tidal Collection which continues to grow in strength and in a range of 2D media,” said Gallery Director Ellie Ray.
On Friday 25 November, Brisbane-based artist Julie Fragar was presented with this year’s $15,000 ‘Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award’ for her work Antonio Depart Flores on the Whaling Tide, a richly layered painting that contains multiple images and references. The artist made the work after travelling to the Azores Islands in Portugal. Here, her ancestor Antonio, aged 12, ventured onto a whaling ship in 1850 – arriving in Australia 6 years later.
“Julie’s painting captures the wild adventure in a way which brings the present and the past together. The historic narrative reminds us of the continuing patterns of migration that reflect Australia today and is a compelling response to the ‘tidal’ theme,” said Tidal 2016 judges Jane Stewart and Jane Devery.
Tidal: City of Devonport National Art Award 2016 Finalists:
Diane Allison, Louisa Bufardeci, Janet Bush, Alex Davern, Julie Fragar, Joey Gracia, Helga Groves, Katherine Hattam, Liam James, Anthony Johnson, Amber Koroluk-Stephenson, Michael Muruste, Penny Mason, Sara Manser, Tess Campbell, Troy Ruffels, David Stephenson & Martin Walch, Evelyn Vyhnal, Megan Walch, Matt Warren, Carole Wilson and Anne Zahalka.
Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite work in the Peoples’ Choice Award. The winning artist will receive $1,000, courtesy of Collins Real Estate, and will be announced at the close of the exhibition in January.
Devonport Regional Gallery
Until 29 January, 2017
Julie Fragar, Antonio Depart Flores on the Whaling Tide, 2016, oil on board