The 10th anniversary of the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards has begun with the announcement of one of the largest shortlists in the event’s history. Forty-one artworks by 35 artists will go on show at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in August. They will vie for prizes worth more than $50,000 including the State’s richest Indigenous art prize, the $30,000 Deadly Art Award.
Announcing the shortlist today, Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley said the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards were established by the Victorian Government in 2005 with the aim of raising the profile of Victoria’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts sector and creating career development opportunities for artists.
“Congratulations to all artists shortlisted for the 2015 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. In a milestone year, it is fitting to have such a large and diverse shortlist,” said Minister Foley. “The past 10 years have seen growth in the Victorian Aboriginal arts and cultural sector across all art forms. These Awards have played a significant role in the visual arts sector by showcasing the distinctive character of South East Australian Indigenous art.
Over the past 10 years, the Awards have showcased more than 280 artworks including works by acclaimed and internationally recognised Victorian artists such as Bindi Cole and Reko Rennie. Featured artists have gone on to have their work acquired by collectors and galleries such as the National Gallery of Victoria, the Koorie Heritage Trust and the Art Gallery of Ballarat. Their involvement has also led to special commissions, gaining representation and exhibition opportunities across the country.
Alongside emerging artists, this year’s shortlist includes three former winners of the Deadly Art Award, Jenny Compton (2014), Ray Thomas (2013) and Trevor ‘Turbo’ Brown (2012), who have each credited the Awards with supporting them to take the next step in their careers.
The shortlist includes artists from all regions across the state and features works across a range of mediums including traditional pokerwork, painting, sculpture, photography and digital video works. The 2015 judging panel comprised well-respected artist and first recipient of the Deadly Art Award, Vicki Couzens and Caroline Martin, Manager of the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.
The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards are open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who live or were born in Victoria. The 2015 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards will be announced on 8 August 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat.
The Awards exhibition will run from 9 August to 20 September. For more information, visit: www.creative.vic.gov.au for details.
Image: Jenny Crompton’s Gathering at Godocut – Winner of the 2014 Deadly Art Award