CONGRATULATIONS DENISE AND GARY !
It was a work that scarred everyone who saw it and worked on it … for life. But the general feeling is The Barbed Maze was worth every bit of the pain. The risk management plan was a work of art in itself … It was one of those works that made you feel that visual arts in the ACT had taken a giant leap forward and indeed it had. Incredibly ambitious, disorienting, relentlessly critical, The Barbed Maze gave a dark view of the Australian pysche and its historical penchant for incarceration. Disturbing and revealing this work in which the audience became lost in a world of barbed wire and mirrors literally reflected all of those things that we fear to confront in ourselves – the past, the present and the future. Gary Smith and Denise Higgins near killed themselves to give Canberra audiences one of the most incredible encounters they will have with contemporary art …. ever. Congratulations to Denise and Gary on a much deserved award from the Canberra Critics Circle. Below is a list of prize winners.
Canberra Critics Circle Awards
The Canberra Critics Circle Awards were announced last week and here are a few of the talented winners that hang out and around the Ainslie + Gorman Arts Centres.
- Alison Plevey, for Dance: “For her tireless and consistent efforts as a dancer, choreographer and facilitator towards advancing professional contemporary dance in the A.C.T through her performances, collaborations, and programs, culminating in the establishment of her dance company, Australian Dance Party.”
- Canberra Youth Theatre’s Katie Cawthorne received a Theatre prize, “for revitalising and advancing Canberra Youth Theatre through three fine youth theatre productions Dead Men’s Wars, a collaborative work with NZ’s Long Cloud Youth Theatre, The Verbatim Project, in collaboration with GOLD, and Antigone, a fresh and original look at a classic play.”
- Liz Lea, “For her innovative promotion of dance in the ACT exemplified by her co-ordination and presentation of “Great Sport!” at the National Museum of Australia, which spectacularly showcased the work of The Gold Company, Dance for Parkinson’s, Canberra Dance Theatre, and of a number of local and interstate choreographers, in a memorable and remarkable presentation.”
- Denise Higgins and Gary Smith, who won “for their ambitious, immersive installation Barbed Maze that evidence the nightmare of uncertainty, surveillance and containment experienced by refugees in Australia’s detention centres” at CCAS. Emma Beer, another visual arts prize-winner, also exhibited at CCAS during the year and was a former studio resident.
- The Writing prize went to Zoya Patel, “for providing a platform for women’s writing and talent through her online literature and arts journal Feminartsy.”