Winners of The Arkley Prize + Nicholas Projects Prize

Isabelle de Kleine, KnowingThe memory of Australian artist Howard Arkley is honoured by The Arkley Prize, established in 2010 by Arkley’s mother, Gwen and her late partner Frank Lewis. The prize is awarded by an esteemed group of judges to the artist whose work in NotFair is considered to be outstanding. The aim of the prize is to acknowledge the skills of an emerging artist and reflect Howard Arkley’s passion as practitioner and teacher.

“We’ve done it in memory of Howard,” said Gwen Arkley. “I feel he would have wanted to help younger artists. He won awards himself, but he was also a very generous artist, teacher and friend.”

This year’s prize was sponsored by gorman, the iconic Australian fashion label, who were present at the NotFair Grand Opening Party on Tuesday 16 August for the announcement of the $10,000 cash prize winner – Isabelle de Kleine for her work entitled Knowing (2016).

Isabelle de Kleine is a Melbourne based artist working with the moving image and painting. Her work is a cross disciplinary exploration into perception and the psychological self; it is a continual study into a flawed, altered and edited conception of a reality through collaged and digital aesthetics; using heavy stylisation to disrupt the sense of realism. Her work is tied around the psychological understanding of cognitive distortions; how glitches within one’s perception become a reality. Looking at how she can manipulate time and motion to create a metaphysical space that moves between expressive portraits and constructed aesthetics.

Through modernist and contemporary references, Isabelle’s portraits sit in perpetual state of change; alluding to a passing of time and action, yet never arriving at a point of conclusion. A stillness within the moving and a movement within the still.

The Ryan SistersThe inaugural Nicholas Projects Prize offers an opportunity for a young, emerging artist to receive support and mentoring to develop an exhibition in 2017 at Nicholas Projects,  a new model gallery space providing commercial exhibition opportunities without fees or commissions, encouraging the talents of emerging artists.

Selected by a panel including representatives from Nicholas Projects, professional arts workers and NotFair alumni, this year’s recipients were The Ryan Sisters for their work entitled We’d give our right arms for an art grant (2016) and Joel Gailer for Hotmetal (2016).

The Ryan Sisters is a collaboration between sisters Pip and Natalie Ryan which exists outside their own practices. They will explore ideas that are associated with humor, horror, death, and the absurd. Using a combination of spatial installation and intervention, they will reference these themes whilst playing with dualities that exist between the merging of their identities.

Joel Gailer is a print informed multi-disciplined artist. His work engages with the philosophies of print, such as the copy and the multiple, though he roams from medium to medium exploring such ideas at will.

Joel Gailer, HotmetalGailer’s Hotmetal explores the instability of material; “I have explored this image through a number of different print mediums, in this instance I have chosen screen-printing as my method. The support for the screen-print is a mirrored surface. The resulting image is an ever changing experience as the work is engaged by person or camera. Even though the work is two dimensional, the mirrored surface and the mat black screen-print create a conflation of figure/ground perspectives.”


Artists who exhibited at NotFair 2016: Lillian Senga Addie,  Steven Asquith,  Jeremy Blincoe,  Michael Candy,  Isabelle de Kleine, Nick Devlin,  Colin Duncan,  Megan Evans,  Joel Gailer,  Connor Grogan,  International Airspace, Tristan Jalleh,  Anna Madeleine, Ilya Milstein, Geoff Overheu,  Tim Page,  Steven Rhall, Natalie Ryan,  The Ryan Sisters,  Mia Salsjo,  Erica Seccombe,  Debbie Symons, Jasmine Targett, Marshall Weber and Jason Wing.


Isabelle De Kleine, Knowing, 2016, watercolour, gouache and acrylic on paper, 160 x 113cm

The Ryan Sisters, We’d give our right arms for an art grant, 2016, wax, bubble wrap and cardboard box

Joel Gailor, Hotmetal, screenprint on reflective mylar, 170 x 124.5cm