2014 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards Announced

Gathering at Godocut (seaweed and binder) by Jenny CromptonBellbrae artist Jenny Crompton has taken out the State’s richest Indigenous art prize, the $30,000 Deadly Art Award at the 2014 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards.

Crompton, who takes much of her artistic inspiration from Victoria’s surf coast, won for her intricate installation of found objects, collected seasonally near her home. Her work impressed the judges for its “delicate construction techniques” and the “distinct sense of place.”

Following the presentation of the Awards at the Art Gallery of Ballarat on Saturday 23 August, Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria MP said the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards aimed to build the profile of South East Australian Aboriginal art and Victoria’s Indigenous artists.

“The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards provide an incomparable glimpse into the power and quality of Indigenous art, and on to the artists who live, work and take inspiration from this part of Australia,” said Ms Victoria.

The 35 finalist works showcase both traditional and contemporary art practices and range from traditional basket weaving techniques to works on wood, as well as photography, painting, video and sculpture.

More than $50,000 in prizes were presented at the Awards ceremony, with Wonthaggi artist Patrice Mahoney receiving the $5,000 Federation University Australia Acquisitive Award and Deanne Gilson of Brown Hill, Ballarat, receiving the Australian Catholic University Acquisitive Award, also with a $5,000 prize.

Other Award winners included Footscray artist Paola Balla and Glennys Briggs, a Victorian-born artist now based in Maudsland, Queensland, who took out the Copyright Agency Limited’s Awards for three dimensional works and works on paper, respectively.

Ms Victoria congratulated all winners and 2014 finalists and said that it is now the public’s turn to be the judge for the 2014 Arts Victoria People’s Choice Award, worth $2,500.

“This year’s finalist works feature in a stunning exhibition at Art Gallery of Ballarat. I strongly encourage everyone to visit the exhibition, or to visit online via the Arts Victoria website, to cast a vote for a favourite work,” said Ms Victoria.

Art Gallery of Ballarat Director Gordon Morrison said that all the finalists were to be congratulated for the range and quality of the work on show.

“Once again, with the assistance of Arts Victoria, the Gallery will be celebrating the dynamism and high quality of contemporary Indigenous art as practised in Victoria. There are works of singular presence and originality in this year’s line-up – some very moving and beautiful things,” said Mr Morrison.

To view the online gallery and vote for the Arts Victoria People’s Choice Award at:  www.arts.vic.gov.au/peopleschoice – voting closes 5.00pm, Monday 29 September 2014.

The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards exhibition is now open at Art Gallery of Ballarat and runs until Sunday 5 October 2014. For more information, visit: www.indigenousartawards.com.au for details.

Image: Jenny Crompton, Gathering at Godocut (seaweed and binder), 2014