Victorian Indigenous Art Awards shortlist announced

Steaphon PatonFrom photography and video art to painting, sculpture and traditional weaving, the shortlist for the 2013 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards spans the spectrum of Indigenous arts practice in Victoria.

Announcing the shortlist, Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria said the 2013 program will be one of the biggest and most diverse yet, featuring 45 works by 31 artists.

“The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards aim to showcase the work of our state’s Indigenous artists and celebrate both the contemporary and traditional ways in which artists express their culture,” Ms Victoria said.

“This year the Awards and accompanying exhibition will be hosted at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, the largest and most prestigious venue to date, which not only helps to build the profile of the Awards but gives shortlisted artists the opportunity to show their work to new and diverse audiences.”

Ms Victoria said the shortlist reflects a vibrant and healthy statewide Indigenous visual arts sector.

“This year’s shortlist includes artists at all career stages, aged between 22 and 73, and hailing from both regional and metropolitan areas,” Ms Victoria said.

Featured artists include previous Deadly Art Award winners Turbo Brown (2012), Ben McKeown (2011) and Bindi Cole (2009). Also shortlisted is multidisciplinary artist Reko Rennie whose work has been shown internationally and who has undertaken public art projects in Washington DC, USA and as part of Melbourne’s 2011 Laneway Commission series.

The 2013 judging panel comprises Margo Neale, Senior Indigenous Curatorial Fellow at the National Museum Australia, Lee-Ann Buckskin, Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council, and Gordon Morrison, Director, of the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Shortlisted artists will be in the running for more than $50,000 in prizes including the $30,000 Deadly Art Award, supported by Arts Victoria; awards for 3D works and works on paper, supported by Copyright Agency Limited; and acquisitive Awards worth $5,000 each, supported by Australian Catholic University and the University of Ballarat.

Ms Victoria also announced that in 2013 Arts Victoria will support a $2,500 People’s Choice Award.

“While the major Award categories are judged by the expert panel, the People’s Choice Award will be an online award, accepting votes via the Arts Victoria website. This will allow the public, no matter where they live, to take part in the 2013 Awards and have their say about their favourite work,” Ms Victoria said.

Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat Gordon Morrison said that presenting the Awards represented a great opportunity for Ballarat and the Gallery.

“This is a landmark event which gives visitors the opportunity to the experience the remarkable work being produced by Indigenous artists in or from Victoria,” Mr Morrison said.

“It is very exciting to see such a strong field of candidates for the Awards, with such a wide range of themes and modes being explored.

“This is a great opportunity for the Ballarat region to participate in this project, and we invite audiences from across Victoria and beyond to be a part of it.”

The 2013 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards will be announced on Saturday 2 November 2013 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

A free exhibition of the finalists work will open on Saturday 2 November and run until Sunday 8 December 2013 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Online voting for the Arts Victoria People’s Choice Award will open on 2 November and run until Monday 25 November 2013.

For more information, visit: indigenousartawards.com.au for details.

Image: Steaphan Paton, White man premonition #2, 2013. (Still from digital video)

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