Esteemed Australian artist Robert Andrew has been named as the winner of the 15 Artists contemporary art prize for 2023.
His work, held within a voice, will be added to the City of Moreton Bay’s growing art collection.
The 15 Artists prize is Council’s $20,000 acquisitive art award and showcases some of the best contemporary artists from around Australia.
Mayor Peter Flannery says the exhibition allowed Moreton Bay residents to see quality art in their own city, as well as attracting visitors to the region.
“It’s great to see such a keen interest in our art prize growing every single year as it increases in stature and allows our amazing galleries to acquire brilliant new works,” he says.
“We had extraordinary artists again this year, with 15 works staying on to be showcased as part of the 15 Artists exhibition on now at Redcliffe Art Gallery.
“Robert Andrew’s amazing work titled held within a voice is a more than worthy winner and we’re thrilled to have his work join our collection.”
Pleasure and privilege
This year’s guest judge, University of the Sunshine Coast Art Gallery curator and manager Megan Williams, says it was a pleasure and a privilege to judge 15 Artists in 2023 and praised Council’s commitment to bringing the best of contemporary Australian art to Moreton Bay.
“I think all the works submitted deserved to win 15 Artists, which was unfortunate for me because it made my job very tricky,” Megan says.
“But I had to decide, and after spending time with each work, and then spending more time with each work, it was Robert’s, held within a voice, that kept calling me back.
“The work comprises elements from the natural environment such as burnt branches, rocks, ochre, and shells suspended on strings hooked up to invisible mechanics that make the elements slowly move along the white gallery wall.
Changing over time
“As the elements move, they leave marks that build up to create a drawing of sorts and I love the idea that over time the work will change as a little more Country is left on the gallery wall every day.
“What surprised me about the work was how it made me slow down and pay attention.
“The elements move at a glacial pace, so slow you could almost miss it.
“This sense of time, duration and slowing down is integral intent of the work, which is to articulate the relationship between language and Country for First Nations peoples.”
Adding to the collection
Robert’s work, held within a voice, will now become a part of City of Moreton Bay’s Art Collection, joining past winning works from acclaimed artists including Vernon Ah Kee, Lindy Lee, Ryan Presley, D Harding and Atong Atem.
The award-winning piece will be on display together with other compelling artworks at the Redcliffe Art Gallery until February 10, 2024.
Entry to the exhibition is free.
Visit Council’s galleries and museum website for more information.
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