Finalists announced for John Fries Award 2015

Out of 730 entries this year, judges have whittled down the list to fifteen emerging artists as the ones to watch.

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Artists entered from a range of different practices – painting, sculpture, installation, video and live performance – leaving the task of judging no easy task. This year’s new guest Curator Oliver Watts, was joined by New Zealand-born Justin Paton Head Curator of international art AGNSW; exciting cross-disciplinary artist, Nell; and installation artist and John Fries Award Chair, Kath Fries.

The finalists include; Erin Coates (WA), Georgie Roxby Smith (Vic), Eloise Kirk (Tas), Kenneth Merrick (NZ), Kelly Doley (NSW), Archie Moore (Qld), Tim Bruniges (NSW), Tully Arnot (NSW), Darcell Apelu (NZ), Ben Ward (WA), Giselle Stanborough (NSW), Leo Coyte (NSW), Will French (NSW), Vincent Namatjira (SA) and Biljana Jancic (NSW).

Watts commented about the impressive range and diversity to select from; “There could have been any number of great shows made out of the entries we received, which was without doubt from some of the best and brightest Australian and New Zealand artists. In the end, we had to curate something that fitted together and said something about ‘the now’. The show will be decidedly contemporary; I think it is characterised by the legacy of conceptual art.”

“The finalists’ pieces resist the norms of society and attempt to deflect our expectations in a humorous or sly way. Many straddle the extremes of reality and fantasy, the serious and the absurd and work in between these two poles,” he said.

All finalists’ entries will feature in a month-long exhibition at UNSW galleries at UNSW Art & Design. The winner of the award’s $10,000 prize money will be announced on its opening on the night Friday 4 September.

John Fries Award 2015
UNSW galleries at UNSW Art & Design
Friday 4 September

 Image courtesy the John Fries Award and UNSW Galleries

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