Aboriginal Art Prize open for entries

Jan Barham MLC, Greens spokesperson for Arts, Aboriginal Affairs and the North Coast, is encouraging artists to enter the Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize (PNSWAAP).

“The Parliament’s Aboriginal Art Prize is a fantastic opportunity to showcase Aboriginal art in the Parliament and in a travelling show and delivers a substantial prize for the successful artist,” said Ms Barham.

Ms Barham said that the Aboriginal Art Prize is an annual acquisitive art award, with prize money totalling $40,000. It is presented to an Aboriginal visual artist over the age of 18, born in or living in New South Wales.

“Last year’s winner was Byron Shire artist Karla Dickens with a work entitled ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’. The work is an Australian flag hand embroidered with crosses and as Karla describes in her artist statement, it represents the grief and loss that is felt by Aboriginal people on that day. This is the power of art, to present an emotional message that speaks of the pain, grief and the need for healing” said Ms Barham.

PNSWAAP is organised by the Parliament of New South Wales in partnership with Campbelltown City Council, the New South Wales Government, through Arts NSW, the College of Fine Arts, UNSW and Coal & Allied.

One finalist in the Aboriginal Arts Prize will be awarded the College of Fine Arts (COFA) Aboriginal Arts Residency Prize that presents the opportunity to work with COFA staff in a medium or mediums of the recipient’s choice; weekly attendance at COFA during the academic year; a travel allowance of $1,200; up to $1,500 towards the cost of art supplies and a solo exhibition at COFA during the 2015 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize if the recipient desires.

Closing date for entries is Friday 1 August and the Awards Announcement will be Wednesday 15 October. An Exhibition of selected works will be held at Parliament of New South Wales – Tuesday 30 September 2014 to Thursday 30 October 2014.

Entry forms can be obtained by emailing info@c-a-a.com.au or by calling 4645 4100 for a hard copy form to be mailed to you. Further information about the exhibition & past winners.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

January 26, Day of Mourning – Artist’s Statement
The majority of Australia celebrates 26 January by wrapping themselves in the red, white and blue flag, having barbecues and feeling proud to be young and free. I cringe, stay close to dear friends, do all I can not to leave the house and respectfully hold my grief – the grief for the old, grief for the continuous denial, grief for the disrespect, grief for the lack of acknowledgment and the poor choice of the day to celebrate. After finding the flag at the tip, I went about handsewing my grief, with one cross after another. Unfortunately, it’s only a small gesture to reflect the true loss.

PHOTO – Rhoda Roberts and Jan Barham in front of ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’ at the exhibition opening and announcement of winner. (Karla Dickens was unable to attend the event)

Rhoda Roberts and Jan Barham in front of ‘January 26, Day of Mourning’