August 18

ART PRIZES R US

winner Mabel Juli

winner Mabel Juli

The Kate Challis RAKA Award is an annual award for Indigenous creative artists (writers, performers, film-makers, poets and visual artists). It was established by the late Professor Emeritus Bernard Smith and is administered by Melbourne Uni’s Australian Centre. Last week, Western Australian painter Mabel Juli took away the $25,000 cash prize for her elegant painting Garnkeny Ngarranggarni (2010).

You wouldn’t be a judge for quids, since much of the work exhibited is excellent. I also particularly enjoyed the works of Timothy Cook and Daniel Boyd.

It’s good when an award gives a lazy grand to the People’s Choice winner. Everyone fills out a form and submits it, a bit like the Logie’s. I don’t like when the judges give a Highly Commended to one or two poor suckers, signifying that they were real close to taking it out, but still walk away with nothing. That seems mean spirited and can confuse the fragile artist’s sense of self (fortunately this was not the case here).

My favorite Art Prize story was when judge Richard Bell took to flipping a coin to decide the winner. He thought that was the fairest method for deciding.  Natalie Thomas

Exhibition runs till 3rd November at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Swanston Street Melbourne.

Panel DiscussionUnder the Sun.

This topical discussion will explore the relationship between and interdependency of artists, art centres, gallerists and curators. How do these relationships affect the representation of Indigenous artists in art museums?

The Panel will be Chaired by Janina Harding, the Panel includes Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Bill Nuttall and Suzette Wearne.

Sat. 24th August 2-3.30pm, bookings required.

Sean Smith, Joanna Beasley, Leuli Eshragi amd Nick Visser

Sean Smith, Joanna Beasley, Leuli Eshragi amd Nick Visser

Jonathan Kimberley, Judith Ryan and Mabel Juli painting

Jonathan Kimberley, Judith Ryan and Mabel Juli painting

Francis Zemljak

Francis Zemljak

Robyn Sloggett

Robyn Sloggett

Wen Ho Chong and Stan Zemljak

Wen Ho Chong and Stan Zemljak