An artist based in the Lenah Valley, Tasmania, Chew has recently exhibited within the PhD Exhibition, Plimsoll Gallery in Hobart as well as the Moonah Arts Centre.
Chew’s winning artwork, created with the medium of oil on linen, is her first to be selected as a Glover Prize finalist. Her official statement accompanying her entry speaks about the broken housing market in Hobart.
“Images of tents and caravans were frequently in the news at the beginning of 2018 when my daughter and I moved back to Hobart,” said Chew. “We lived with my parents for a year, unable to find a rental we could afford.”
“It was easy to see why more and more people were forced into solutions like setting up a temporary home at the Showgrounds – an option that will cease within the coming months.”
“This painting is a reflection on a broken housing market, and a rental market that prevents many from entering it.”
“The central piece of this work is framed either end with horizontal bands that reference two works by John Glover – Mount Wellington with rainbow from sketchbook 43, and weeds from the bottom of Cattle, the last Gleam of the Setting Sun.”
“I remember seeing prize cows at the Showgrounds as a kid; since returning home kids have been growing up there in tents and caravans.”
“Permission was sought and granted to use Nikki Davis-Jones’ photograph of a working family’s campsite at the Showgrounds as the central source image for this painting,” said Chew.
Chew has won $75,000 and a bronze maquette of colonial artist, John Glover, after whom the Glover Prize is named.
Head judge, Suzanne Cotter, alongside judges, Bill Nuttall and Lucienne Rickard, official statement addresses the artwork’s connection between contemporary life and the history of painting, as well as John Glover.
“The diversity and high level of finalists for this year’s John Glover Prize made for long and rich discussion Joanna Chews’ painting ‘Tender’ stood out in its ambition and layered visual narrative,” said The Judges.
“It is a complex painting that addresses contemporary life and themes of home and belonging at the same time as it speaks to a history of painting and the figure of John Glover himself, whose landscapes can be understood as a search for self-recognition in a world that was not his own.”
Two other finalist artworks have been Highly Commended by the Glover Prize Judges. Both Christina Fontana’s Inexhaustible Bounty and Romany Mollison’s I’ll Wait for You were recognised by the Judges.
Two more prizes are to be awarded as part of the Glover Prize 2023 with the People’s Choice and Children’s Choice Awards being drawn on the final day of the exhibition (Sunday 19 March). The winners of these popular votes will receive $3,000 and $500 prize money, respectively.
An exhibition of Finalists is now on show at Evandale’s historic Falls Park Pavilion until Sunday 19 March. For more information about the 2023 Glover Prize, visit: www.johnglover.com.au for details.
Image: Glover Prize 2023 Winner Joanna Chew with her winning piece, Tender (supplied)