A striking homage to modernism and abstract art has won the prestigious 2019 Sunshine Coast Art Prize.
From 410 entries including 40 finalists, artist Diena Georgetti was announced as the $25,000 major prize winner for her work TALISKA at the official opening of the 2019 Sunshine Coast Art prize exhibition and winners’ announcements at Caloundra Regional Gallery last night (August 29).
Her winning work, TALISKA, will now be acquired and included in the Sunshine Coast Art Collection.
Ms Georgetti is a significant figure in Australian contemporary art. Since her career started in the late 1980s, she has been making paintings that cut through expectation. Her work can be found in major public collections in Australia and New Zealand, including the Art Gallery of Western Australia, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art.
More than 250 dignitaries, artists and guests joined Mayor Mark Jamieson, Art Prize judge Alison Kubler and Major Prize partner, John Gallagher from Argon Law, for the exhibition opening and winners’ announcements.
Western Australian artist Mark Tweedie was named the De Deyne Family Highly Commended winner for his work entitled A dream like this is hard to wake from #2.
Victorian artist Genevieve Felix Reynolds was awarded the Sunshine Coast Art Prize residency at Montville Country Cabins for her entry Adobe.
Mayor Jamieson congratulated Diena on winning the 2019 Sunshine Coast Art Prize and said her work, would be a welcome addition to the Sunshine Coast Art Collection’s contemporary Australian art holdings.
“The Sunshine Coast Art Prize has not only become the region’s signature annual art prize, but also an award with prestige and a national profile,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“Choosing the winners would have been a difficult task and our thanks go to the judge Alison Kubler, whose selections reflect the diversity of visual art that the Sunshine Coast Art Prize is able to showcase.”
Alison Kubler, museum and gallery curator and VAULT Australasian Art & Culture magazine editor, said TALISKA was a reminder that painting could be a vital force.
“In terms of abstraction it describes the tension between objective painting and the expressive gesture,” Ms Kubler said.
“I love how it is both controlled and flamboyant, compartmentalised and loose, at once a homage to modernist art history and a declaration of the relevance of painting now.
“Diena Georgetti is undeniably one of our great female artists.”
Winning artist Diena Georgetti was thrilled to win the 2019 Sunshine Coast Art Prize.
“I think the Sunshine Coast Art Prize acts as an invitation to consider the exhibiting art in a competitive ‘chose your prize fighter’ scenario, where the public can peruse each piece in search of a personal champion, one that reflects them, creating an intimate bond that defines the function of art in society,” Ms Georgetti said.
“ln awarding the Sunshine Coast Art Prize to TALISKA, 2018, Alison Kubler has endeared me to her appreciation and understanding of art, and has gifted me a sense of relevancy within the community I crave.
“I would also like to express my gratitude to Sunshine Coast Council for supporting the arts through this award, along with the Art Prize major partners and to the Caloundra Regional Gallery team for their efforts and commitment.”
When selecting the Highly Commended winner, Ms Kubler said Mark Tweedie’s painting was a beautiful commentary on the enduring relationship between photography and painting.
“A dream like this is hard to wake from #2 argues a relevance for figurative and narrative painting. The image is touching in its intimacy, intriguing in its obscurity too; a dreamlike vignette of another’s existence.”
Since the art prize exhibition opened in July, gallery visitors have been busy voting for their favourite artwork in the People’s Choice Award. Voting closed on August 28 and the lucky winner is Jandamarra Cadd for his work Cleverman, a captivating portrait of Uncle Jack Charles. Jandamarra will take home the $2500 prize sponsored by the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce.
The exhibition will be on display at Caloundra Regional Gallery until September 15.
The 2019 Sunshine Coast Art Prize is supported by Sunshine Coast Council and Argon Law (Major prize), De Deyne family (Highly Commended prize), Caloundra Chamber of Commerce (People’s Choice prize), Montville Country Cabins and Caloundra Regional Gallery (Art Prize Residency), Coastline BMW, International Art Services (Transport) and Horizon Festival.
For more details about the Sunshine Coast Art Prize, visit council’s gallery website.