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A Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre exhibition toured by Liverpool City Council


VALERIO CICCONE

TOM LAWFORD


It is not simply an esteemed history that has maintained the relevance of the Blake Prize. In the last ten years the Prize has seen a resurgent interest in its subject matter of religion, spirituality and human justice. Considered to be among the top art prizes in Australia, it is a showcase for creative ideas and innovative artists. One of the clear reasons for this renewed public profile has been the shift in the manner in which art engages everyday life. Art is no longer about beautiful objects of the education of taste. It is much more about the big ideas of ethics, politics and social relevance. The conversation that buzzes around the Blake Prize is not about religious figures from the past, current mass movements of peoples as a result of war, as well as the future of the environment amid climate change. In 1951, the first Blake Prize exhibition presented a very different world. Following the Second World War, the suburbs were being built and the newly formed Blake Committee hoped artists would provide an Australian version of the abiding symbols that had got them through the war. It was a time of new confidence in the possibilities of the future and religious images in Australian colours were needed to populate the horizon of prayer and prosperity. Arthur Boyd, Kevin Connor, Donald Friend, Elaine Haxton and the winner, Justin O’Brien provided new ways of seeing this tradition and the Blake became an annual exhibition. Within a few short years the Blake became a place for controversy as the tensions became apparent between familiar religious symbols and the search for innovation and relevance.


Through its more than sixty years of history, the Blake Prize has echoed the changing nature of the search for meaning found in art making. This history reflects the way artists have understood their role as both reflectors of values and challengers of the status quo. In some sense it was the genius of the Blake Committee and the later Blake Society to choose not to define what was understood by ‘religious art’. Despite ongoing pressure to introduce such definitions, this openness has enabled the Blake to grow and change alongside the differing ways in which spirituality has been understood. What matters most within this search is the question of what it means to be human, a question that is always under scrutiny and formation in contemporary society. The Blake Prize provides an opportunity to visualise the more speculative questions around human experience and the horizon of hope. The Blake invites viewers to engage in a conversation about how to negotiate difference, how to learn from others who hold differing traditions, and how to create a dialogue that builds towards the common good. This is a conversation that values the social role of the artist as an imaginer of possibilities, a conjurer of hope, and a dismantler of idols. This makes the Blake Prize an exhibition of contemporary art that is consistently engaging, sometimes prickly, but always relevant to the big debates and questions of the culture we inhabit. Rev. Rod Pattenden Ex President of the Blake Society


BRENDA WALSH

EDWARD WHITELOCK


SHANNON ROBERTJOHNSON BENNETT


ROBERT HAGUE

LIAM BENSO


ON


SALLY SIMPSON


DAMIEN SHEN


DARRON DAVIES


HEATH MCCALMONT PARKINSON ÇIGDEM AYDEMIR


ANGELA TIATIA

LAUREN BEASLEY


JOANNA LOGUE & WILLIAM (BILL) MOSELEY


YARDENA KURULKAR

ALAN JONES


IDA BAGUS REKAH BAKURHA & MATTHEW JAMES McVEIGH


DAVID ASHER BROOK


ROBERT BENNETT


SHOUFAY DERZ


ANGELA CASEY


SARAH SPACKMAN


GEORGE SHAW


ZAN WIMBERLEY


ADNAN BEGIC


ABDULLAH M I SYED


ZANNY BEGG


ÇIGDEM AYDEMIR Whirl 2015 HD Video with sound 5 mins 20 secs cinematography: Meg White IDA BAGUS REKAH BAKURHA & MATTHEW JAMES McVEIGH Economy class to Bali 2015 mixed media on canvas LIAM BENSON The Crusader 2015 inkjet print on cotton rag paper, photographed by Alex Wisser ADNAN BEGIC Vanishing 2015 digital ink jet photographic print on hahnemuhle photo rag paper edition 1/8 & 2 AP ZANNY BEGG 1001 Nights in Fairfield 2015 video installation, edition 1/10 17mins 33 secs DAVID ASHER BROOK Talking Skull 2015 stop motion, painting 2 mins 48 secs

ANGELA CASEY The Surgeon 2015 c-type photographic print VALERIO CICCONE Not Titled (Mother and Child) 2015 pastel and pencil on paper DARRON DAVIES The Spare Room, Takatsuki Japan 2015 digital photograph, pigment print on photo rag TAMARA DEAN Shoaling 2015 pigment print on cotton rag paper SHOUFAY DERZ Someone digging in the ground (black, red) 2015 pigment print on cotton paper, custom frame with rust and eucalyptus ROBERT HAGUE The Messenger 2015 carrara marble WINNER – THE BLAKE ESTABLISHED ARTIST RESIDENCY ALAN JONES Painting 148 (From Dunningham Reserve) 2015 acrylic on linen


SHANNON JOHNSON St Christopher 2014 mixed media and found object sculpture

SALLY SIMPSON Precipice 2013 - 2015 baling plastic, string and human hair on steel and timber bench

YARDENA KURULKAR Kenosis 2015 inkjet print on archival paper WINNER – THE 64th BLAKE PRIZE

SARAH SPACKMAN Operculum 2014 copper, bronze, gymea lily fibres

TOM LAWFORD Kurtal Headress 2015 paper bark, human hair, paint, corella feathers

SARAH SPACKMAN Ordinary Objects: Cup 2014 Australian porcelain, carbon, copper

JOANNA LOGUE & WILLIAM (BILL) MOSELEY Vol de Nuit 2015 wet plate collodion tintype

ABDULLAH M I SYED Aura I & II (duo) 2014 hand-stitched crochet taqiyah (skull caps), perspex and LED light (picture on the cover)

REG MOMBASSA Procession 2015 charcoal, coloured pencil, pastel & glitter

ANGELA TIATIA Untitled (Holding On) 2015 digital video, artist proof 12 mins 11 secs

DAMIEN SHEN On the fabric of the Ngarrindjeri body 2015 etching WINNER – THE BLAKE EMERGING ARTIST ACQUISTIVE AWARD

BRENDA WALSH The Judgement 2014 oil on linen ZAN WIMBERLEY Nietzsche Don’t Preach (We’re in trouble deep) 2015 stereoscope (Tasmanian oak, mirror, c type photograph) edition of 3 + AP


The 64th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition An exhibition by Casula Powerhouse Art Centre, a cultural facility of Liverpool City Council Held at Delmar Gallery, Trinity Grammar School, Sydney 1-26 February, 2017 Exhibition documentation photography by Silversalt


DELMAR GALLERY Trinity Grammar School | 144 Victoria Street | Ashfield NSW 2131 Phone 02 9581 6070 | Wednesday to Sunday 12 - 5pm www.trinity.nsw.edu.au/delmar-gallery

THE 64th BLAKE PRIZE  

One of Australia’s longest-running and prestigious art prizes returns to Delmar Gallery as part of its 2017 national tour. Now a biennial e...

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