Artist entries for the world’s richest landscape prize, The Fleurieu Art Prize, are still open (until Friday, July 26) with an increased main prize of $60,000.
Judged by Nigel Hurst from London’s Saatchi Gallery, artists from all over Australia are encouraged to enter the competition, which will be held from Saturday, October 26 until Monday, November 25 in various galleries, cellar doors and exhibition spaces throughout McLaren Vale and the Fleurieu Peninsula. Since opening for entries last February, Fleurieu Art Prize General Manager, Karen Paris, said works have been pouring in from all around the country. “Given the $60,000 main prize sum – the most for a landscape painting prize anywhere in the world – plus the fact that judging will be led by Nigel Hurst from London’s Saatchi Gallery, we knew there would be some strong competition from artists this year,” Paris announced. “Artists can enter a work of any substance applied to any surface, as long as it has a relationship to ‘landscape’ in the mind of its creator. While we embrace and honour traditional concepts and mediums, we also welcome artists that challenge the more traditional arts and bring new concepts, unique interpretations and contemporary media to the prize.” Melbourne emerging artist, Jack Rowland, described his entry Smoke as a work inspired by a visit to rural Castlemaine in the summertime, which he claims was an eye-opener as to his perception of smoke and colour. “The background to the imagery of Smoke came during a visit to Castlemaine early one summer. A huge amount of smoke began to appear a few kilometres away from me in the middle of the bush. My first instinct was that it was the beginning of a house fire or maybe even a bushfire. I drove towards it to investigate, taking photos along the way, only to find that it was controlled burning for the pre-bushfire season. It must have been my city nature to assume it was a disaster, as everyone else carried on as though it was a normal occurrence. I thought this unexpected change of perception towards the cause of smoke tied in with my interests in altered perception, so I turned an image of potential disaster into a celebration of colour. With the variety of warm and cool tones in the smoke on the clear blue sky background, I instantly knew it would be a good image to manipulate with my psychedelic colour schemes.” Paris adds that the judging panel will also see artist Michael Zavros and director of the Samstag Museum of Art, Erica Green, picking this year’s winner alongside Nigel Hurst. According to Hurst, “South Australia is clearly embracing contemporary art and I’m delighted to help judge such a unique and important prize.” Past winners of the Fleurieu Art Prize include Robert Hannaford (1998), Elisabeth Cummings (2000), Joe Furlonger (2002), Ken Whisson (2006), Tim Burns (2008) and Julie Harris (2011). The Fleurieu Art Prize Festival will be held from Saturday, October 26 until Monday, November 25. Entries are open until Friday, July 26 at artprize.com.au