Robert Hannaford awarded Ruby Lifetime Achievement Award

Robert Hannford editorialRenowned South Australian artist Robert Hannaford was awarded the Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement at the 2014 Ruby Awards.

A self-taught artist born and raised in Riverton in the mid-north, Mr Hannaford swapped a successful career as a political cartoonist at The Advertiser in the late sixties to take on painting and sculpting full time. Many major commissions and prizes later, he is still working on projects including the upcoming creation of 13 original oil paintings of seafaring characters which will become an integral part of a of a multi-art form theatre project called Blue Angel.

The Ruby Awards were introduced by the South Australian Government in 2006 as a way to recognise and thank artists and art organisations for their contribution to the State. The awards were presented on Friday 5 December at an invitation-only celebration at Adelaide’s historic Queen’s Theatre.

The Ruby Award for Best Work went to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, the first of its kind in Australia, which was created by Memorial artists Lee-Ann Buckskin, Tony Rosella and Michelle Nikou. The figures at the memorial were sculpted by Mr Hannaford and bronzed by Tim Thomson.

The Memorial was unveiled in 2013, melding both military and Aboriginal symbolism to honour the bravery of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander servicemen and women during wartime.

For the first time there were joint winners in the category of Best Event; the 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Dark Heart at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Adelaide Film Festival / Adelaide Festival of Ideas.

Dark Heart was the largest biennial to date, presenting brave new visions from 28 contemporary Australian artists and collectives and curated by Art Gallery of South Australia Director Nick Mitzevich.

The Adelaide Film Festival and Adelaide Festival of Ideas were coupled together in 2013, lavishing audiences with special events and unique programming around screen culture and distinctive intellectual debate.

Among other winners, the Bowerbird Design Market was recognised in the Arts Enterprise category for creating a unique, self-funded marketplace for artisans and designers to promote directly to the public.

ADHOCRACY, the national arts hothouse held at Vitalstatistix in Port Adelaide, won the Ruby Award for Innovation. Artists from around Australia have gathered for five years at ADHOCRACY to nut out new experimental and interdisciplinary arts projects and join in thought-provoking public programs.

For more information and complete list of winners, visit: for details.

Image: Robert Hannaford