Sunday, July 15th, 2007
Former HIP president John Ingleton attended the awards dinner for the Drawing Together national public art competition which was held in the National Museum in Canberra on Wednesday the 11th of July. Most of the 39 finalists who were chosen from more than 570 entries were in attendance thanks to the generosity of the Australian Public Service Commission, the National Archives of Australia, the National Museum of Australia and the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs who sponsored the competition.
As the West Australian newspaper says, “with a $40,000 first prize, higher than the prestigious Archibald Prize, the Drawing Together competition has caused quite a stir in the art community.”
The prestigious new national art prize which was open to all Australian was to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1967 referendum that overwhelming voted yes to:
- The removal of a discriminatory clause which prevented the Federal Government from legislating for Aboriginal people; and
- The deletion of Section 127, which excluded Aboriginal people from being counted in the national census.
WA artist Shane Pickett won the $40,000 major award with his painting Travel Lines Crossing the Bunurroo Waterway acrylic on linen (on the left, on the right is A Red Gum Grows in Redfern by Steve McLaren, mixed media). The balance of the $82,000 prize pool was distributed amongst six other finalists including Derby painter Loongkoonan, said to be Australiaâ€™s oldest artist at about 98, who won $10,000 for her vivid painting Bush Tucker in Nyikina Country.
John said that he was thrilled to be one of two finalists from Tasmania with his digital print, Promises to Keep and that the whole experience has been amazing, giving him more confidence to continue with his current projects which are looking at the impact of Australian flora collected by the early explorers on French culture (see current exhibition at the Entrepot gallery, Hobart).
Some of the other art work photographed on the night included:
The Spirit is Leaving the Land – Nyree Reynolds and Joy Engleman, mixed media on canvas
Most of the artwork was moved from the National Archives and displayed on easels at the National Museum for the gala dinner which was attended by about 400 people.
The work of the finalists will be exhibited in the National Archives until 27 July together with 70 artworks of indigenous artists including Sally Morgan, Mini Heath, Fiona Foley, Jimmy Pike and Queenie McKenzie.
If you would like to have a look at the catalogue please contact John at the University of Tasmania School of Art.