Victorian Indigenous Art Awards announces finalists

Reaching its 10th anniversary this year, the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards has returned again with the largest short list of artists in the event’s history.

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Showing no signs of slowing down, the growing popularity of the prize is a product of the show’s ability to attract and select a rich array of talent. This year forty-one artworks by thirty five artists are to be exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ballarat in August.

Whilst this expansive short list hardly reduces the competitive pool, the multiple Victorian Indigenous Art Awards total more than $50,000, aiming to reward a range of artists at different stages in their career. Though the most attractive element of this event is undoubtedly the Deadly Art Award of $30,000.

Accepting artworks from a range of mediums from the traditional pokerwork, painting, sculpture and to more contemporary practices of photography and digital video works, the only criteria is that artists live or are born in Victoria. The short list of artists can be viewed here.

This year’s judging panel includes the first recipient of the Deadly Art Award, Vicki Couzens and Caroline Martin, Manager of the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Melbourne Museum.

The exhibition is a snapshot of the Indigenous art scene across Victoria, aiming to promote and support the profile of Victoria’s unique Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts sector. The result is a unique event that celebrates the artistic directions central to it’s state.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley commented on success of the awards stating, “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.”

Acting as a platform for artists to excel their career, the Awards have showcased more than 280 artworks. Featuring works by internationally recognised Victorian artists such as Bindi Cole and Reko Rennie, the growing prestige of the awards has garnered great attention towards those who are short listed and award winners.

The finalists will be showcased at an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ballarat this August, with the winner announced at the opening Saturday 8 August . Owing to size of the short list, the variety of the show lends itself to be a vibrant taste of what the Victorian Indigenous Arts has to offer.

EXHIBITION
Victorian Indigenous Art Awards
Art Gallery of Ballarat
9 August – 20 September 

Image: 2014 winner Jenny Crompton with her winning artwork, Gathering at Godocut (Seaweed and binder)
Image courtesy of the artist and the Victorian Indigenous Art Awards. 

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