Indigenous artist Vincent Namatjira wins the $100,000 Ramsay Artwork Prize



Could 24, 2019 12:00:37


An Indigenous artist with a well-known surname and a penchant for Donald Trump has received this yr’s $100,000 Ramsay Artwork Prize in Adelaide.

Key factors:

  • The successful portrait refers back to the first contact between Indigenous Australians and James Prepare dinner
  • The Ramsay Artwork Prize is open to Australian artists underneath the age of 40
  • The $100,000 prize is of equal worth to the Archibald Prize

Vincent Namatjira, the great-grandson of acclaimed watercolour artist Albert Namatjira, has received the prize for his portray ‘Shut Contact’.

The painter, from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in northern South Australia, was chosen as winner by a panel of worldwide and nationwide modern artwork specialists.

It’s an irreverent examination of colonisation, with the title referring to the idea of “first contact” between Indigenous Australians and Captain James Prepare dinner.

The piece is a double-sided portrait on plywood with a mirroring piece depicting Captain Prepare dinner, a transfer away from his different canvas-based works.

In addition to the $100,000 prize, the successful piece is acquired into the gathering of the Artwork Gallery of South Australia.

Namatjira mentioned the prize cash would enable him to proceed to create his artwork.

“Profitable this prize means loads to me and it’ll hopefully create extra alternatives for me to proceed to make extra formidable work and to share my apply with new audiences,” he mentioned.

“I additionally hope to make use of my place to create alternatives for different younger artists in distant Indigenous communities.

“I can actually say that turning into an artist turned my life round and now I wish to be a frontrunner and a task mannequin for the subsequent technology of younger artists.”

Visitor decide Russell Storer mentioned Namatjira’s work stood out for its “directness and readability, but additionally for its wit and complexity”.

“[It’s] a startling self-portrait combining portray and sculpture, and as such represents a serious shift in Vincent’s apply,” he mentioned.

“Prepare dinner is represented as a persistent shadow of the artist exhibiting how Indigenous and white Australia are inextricably linked by historical past, but additionally within the current.

“Vincent’s thumbs-up stance expresses resilience and humour, essential methods for resistance and survival.”

Namatjira making his mark internationally

Namatjira, a finalist within the 2019 Archibald Prize, has been making his mark internationally along with his works on show at many notable locations, together with the British Museum in London.

His portraits supply a wry tackle the politics of historical past, energy and management from a up to date Indigenous perspective.

His fascination with a few of the world’s finest recognized figures, together with the Royal household and US President Donald Trump, has impressed a lot of his work.

Namatjira has been open about his keenness to fulfill them sooner or later.

Different notable entrants into this yr’s prize included items by Victorian artist Julia deVille and South Australian artist Pierre Mukeba.

A giraffe that died at Adelaide Zoo 35 years in the past is the main target of deVille’s work, which is already on show on the Artwork Gallery of South Australia.

Its physique was stored in a freezer on the Queen Victoria Museum and Artwork Gallery in Launceston till it was acquired by deVille 5 years in the past.

The giraffe is bejewelled with gems, together with the engagement ring her ex-husband gave her.

Mukeba was the youngest South Australian entrant into the prize.

His work speaks to his Congolese heritage, though he’s now primarily based in Adelaide.

The biennial prize is funded by the James and Diana Ramsay Basis, which has contributed tens of millions of {dollars} to the Artwork Gallery of South Australia.

The inaugural prize in 2017 was received by Sydney-based artist Sarah Contos.

Contos’ successful piece was a large quilt known as The Lengthy Kiss Goodbye, and took the artist three months make.








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