Fiona McMonagle wins Basil Sellers Art Prize People’s Choice Award

BSAP_Fiona McMonagle_editorialMelbourne artist Fiona McMonagle has won the $5,000 Yarra Trams People’s Choice Award for her series of artworks entered in this year’s Basil Sellers Art Prize.

McMonagle’s work, a collection of three large-scale watercolour portraits and an animation video, entitled The ring, was voted most popular by visitors to the exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne.

Museum Director Kelly Gellatly said the portraits are a fantastic exploration of women in sport. “It’s great to see artists who are continually challenging themselves, as McMonagle has with her ‘moving watercolour’ animation,” said Ms Gellatly.

“The ring is Fiona’s first moving image work and was itself an incredible act of endurance as it involved making over 800 individual watercolour images. Whilst there are elements of social commentary and gender politics, the works are also a powerful celebration of women in sport, and women who love to box.

“Fiona’s great command of watercolour and ink also conveys both the vulnerability and strength of boxers.”

“The Basil Sellers exhibition is one that has something for everyone by linking sport with art. The exhibition gives artists an opportunity to explore the emotions and spectacle of sport, whilst challenging historical and moral issues within Australian sporting culture,” Ms Gellatly concluded.

The Basil Sellers Art Prize encourages artists to take on the theme of sporting culture and interpret it through their chosen practice. As well as the $100,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize, the exhibition also features the $50,000 National Sports Museum Basil Sellers Creative Arts Fellowship, and the $5,000 Yarra Trams People’s Choice Award.

This year’s Basil Sellers Art Prize was awarded to Tony Albert for his work entitled Once upon a time… 2013-14. Albert’s work addresses the controversy surrounding the racial abuse directed at AFL player Adam Goodes.

Additional shortlisted artists for this year’s exhibition included: Narelle Autio, Zoe Croggon, Gabrielle de Vietri, Ivan Durrant, Shaun Gladwell, Richard Lewer, William Mackinnon, Rob McHaffie, Noel McKenna, Rob McLeish, Fiona McMonagle, Raquel Ormella, Khaled Sabsabi, Jenny Watson and Gerry Wedd.

The Basil Sellers Exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, has been extended and will now close on Sunday 16 November 2014, and will tour to Samstag Museum of Art at the University of South Australia in May 2015. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Fiona McMonagle, The ring (video still) 2014, digital video animation, 16:9 ratio, colour, sound, 7:24 minutes © Courtesy the artist, Helen Gory Galerie, Melbourne; Olsen Irwin, Sydney; and Heiser Gallery, Brisbane.