Sunday, November 19, 2017

Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize Winners

 18 November - 3 December

The annual Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize was officially opened last Friday night by Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes.  Judges were Debbie Abraham, Director Lake Macquarie Art Gallery, Brigette Uren, Director Maitland Art Gallery and artist, curator Todd Fuller. One hundred and seventeen (117) entries were received and seventy (70) were selected as finalists. Congratulations to everyone involved behind the scenes and the winning artists, the finalists and those in the Salon des Refuses.

The winners are:

Packing Room Prize
Lynette Bridge
 "Emphemeral Moments", acrylic, graphite, oil pastel on board.

Photomedia Prize
Dylan Smyth
"Mayfield 1 2013-17", digital inkjet print, 30 x 45cm, edition of 5. 
View more from this series at

Painting Prize
Ileigh Hellier
"Afternoon heat", oil on plywood.

Sculpture Prize
Natalie Duncan
"Princess Kimmy K Artamidea", ceramic, feather, agate, beads, gold lustre

Works on Paper Prize
Denise Duffy
 "Untitled", paper, cyanotype, emulsion, bamboo, twine, glue, fishing line and swivel.

The Overall Prize Winner was selected from amongst the section finalists and this has been a controversial decision in the past.   

The Overall winner of the Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize for 2017 is Natalie Duncan.

Like all competitions there is a room of Salon des Refuses and these works could also be open to the public viewing perhaps at the opening only.  This represents the whole event and provides an opportunity for all the work entered to be “seen”.  Overall numbers appear to be down particularly in photomedia.  Have photographers and photomedia artists deserted the prize, become “established and emerged” or did they just miss the opportunity.  It is difficult to keep a non biased eye when looking at such a diverse range of works.  While acknowledging and congratulating the winners, there are also strong linocuts on show and I particularly liked Sharran Makin’s The Secret Garden work and the quality of Donna Cavanough’s Kookaburra Feather #2, ink on paper work.  There is more ahead for Toni Amidy and Lynette Bridge with both demonstrating strong, individual painting styles.  It was encouraging to see mostly lesser known artists appearing in this event.

What does it take to win a Prize?  The judges discussed their process looking for fully resolved works and the importance and significance of a good artist statement that provides additional insight into the background to a work and can aid a judge’s knowledge.  If you never enter a prize you have no chance of winning or having your work "seen".

The exhibition is open 18th November – 3rd December and a number of works are priced competitively for sale and investment.

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