Belinda Mason wins $20,000 Olive Cotton Award
A portrait by Belinda Mason, Taken, has been selected as the overall winner of the biennial Olive Cotton Award, receiving the major prize of $20,000. Selected from one of 79 finalists, Mason is the 10th artist to win the award which began as an annual award in 2005. A total of 432 entries were received for the 2019 competition.
Photo-media artist Marian Drew judged the competition, commenting on the high standard of work. Her final decision, which took over two hours to make, was influenced by the photographic object and its ability to engage the viewer with its subject. “In the context of screen culture, the photographic object is far more visceral and sensual than its screen counterpart, through a mutual gaze one is transported long enough to forget oneself, or rather see oneself in the ‘other’,” Drew stated.
Works by Brett Moffatt, Dave Carswell, Michael Corridore, and Sam Scoufos were noted as Highly Commended by Drew, while Petrina Hick’s image, Cleopatra, was acquired for the Gallery’s collection with Director Susi Muddiman OAM awarding it the 2019 Director’s Choice. The portrait, Tim Fairfax, by Russell Shakespeare was also acquired for the Gallery. Muddiman described Hick’s work as “provocative, mysterious, suggestive, and a little eerie”. Muddiman also singled out the work of Jacqui Stockdale, Craig Tuffin, Brett Moffatt, and Gary Grealy as deserving special attention.
A full list of finalists can be seen on the Gallery’s website.
The Olive Cotton Award exhibition will run until Sunday, 22 September. The Gallery is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm (closed Mondays and Tuesdays).
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