64th Blake Art Prize announced

CPAC Blake Prize Yardena Kurulkar KenosisCasula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) has announced Yardena Kurulkar from Mumbai, India the winner of the 64th Blake Art Prize for her work, Kenosis.

“There was an extremely high calibre of entrants for the Blake Prize by some of the world’s most regarded artists,” says CPAC Director Kiersten Fishburn. This year’s Blake Prize is one of the best in its history – we have so much diversity from traditional art techniques to video works.”

“I congratulate Yardena Kurulkar. The work is a moment of both life and death. There is something primal and rich about the use terracotta and the form of the heart – for me the work has many allusions from the Venus of Willendorf and her fecund life giving form, to our common and universal understanding that eventually for all of us our corporeal form decays and ends. Her work was a unanimous choice by our judges.”

Judges for the 64th Blake Art Prize were Reverend Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, artist Leanne Tobin and Professor Amanda Lawson, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts at the University of Wollongong.

Yardena Kurulkar receives $35,000 for winning the Blake Art Prize. Damien Shen is the winner of the Emerging Artist Award, which is $6000 for the acquisitive prize for his work, On the fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body and Robert Hague for his work, This Messenger – has won the inaugural Blake Residency program, a one-month residency at CPAC and a solo exhibition which will be unveiled at the 2018 Blake exhibition program.

The Blake Prize was established in the 1950s by a Jesuit priest and a Jewish lawyer who hoped to encourage artists to create significant works of art with religious content. More than sixty years since it was founded, the Blake is still one of the most respected, diverse and open-ended art prizes in Australia today.

Religion remains a powerful subject of our time and one especially important in Australia where we have people from over 150 different birthplaces, 140 languages spoken and an equally diverse range of religious backgrounds. This year there were 594 entries and 80 finalists.

The Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) is the new permanent home for the Blake Art Prize and will complement the rich community, cultural diversity and the vibrant arts scene in Western Sydney. The Blake Prize exhibition runs until 24 April 2016, and will then tour to a number of galleries around Australia. For more information, visit: www.casulapowerhouse.com for details.

Image: Yardena Kurulkar, Kenosis, 2015 (supplied)