Lismore based artist Steven Giese has won the biennial BRUNY18 art prize with his painting, Antipodean Study: Last Fish at High Tide, announced during the opening at Alonnah Hall, Bruny Island on Saturday, October 13.
Judges Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney); Fiona Hall AO, Australia’s representative at the 2015 Venice Biennale; and Jarrod Rawlins, Curator, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) were unanimous in their decision.
The judges commented that this work is highly topical, relating to concerns of humans and the environment, the key theme of BRUNY18.
More precisely, the judges said it addresses the prize concept ‘Art of Adaptation’, and sends a strong message that if we don’t adapt catastrophe will occur.
“We kept coming back to it and seeing more, intrigued by the multiplicity of complex issues it is dealing with,” said the judges.
“The erupting clouds can be read as ‘the smoking gun’ of many of Australia’s environmental problems of our time.”
“This is a complex work; a summation of many current concerns of the environment.
“It is also quite broad, and references other issues in Australian society in relation to the environment, like climate change and overfishing.
“In short, this work deals with a multiplicity of contemporary Australian concerns.”
In addition, two works were highly commended, each receiving an award of $1000, Hobart based Clifford How, with Archaic (Crater Lake) and West Australian painter, Lori Pensini with Eden.
Paintings by 28 artists from around Australia, including nine Tasmanian painters, were in the exhibition at Alonnah Hall, Bruny Island, and a selection of works from BRUNY18, including the winning entry will be exhibited at Kingston Beach Arts Hub from tomorrow (October 24) with the
Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Steve Wass opening the exhibition at 5.30pm, which will be open daily from 10am to 4pm until Sunday, October 28.
BRUNY18 is an initiative of the Bruny Island Foundation for the Arts, a charitable foundation based on Bruny.
The Prize is supported by the local Island community, corporate sponsors and the Kingborough Council.
This year’s main prize for BRUNY20 was $50,000, courtesy of a new partnership with Bruny Island Coastal Retreats together with Nature Pact.