Last Friday I wrote in this column of these two remarkable Basil Sellers Art Prizes, from art lover and philanthropist Mr Basil Sellers AM, the big city art prize and not to be neglected the small rural art prize and now we know the 2014 winners. (christiantoday.com.au)
I invite the reader to type in Tony Albert into any search engine and up will come page after page of references to this humble yet astonishing artist. This indigenous artist was chosen from a field of more than 300 entrants (16 finalists) for this handsome biennial purse, announced last Friday evening at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at Melbourne University.
Titled "Once upon a time" Tony Albert's art is a collection 23 framed works, including portraits of Adam Goodes and Nick Winmar, all in turn hung over the top of a red target.
Tony Albert said it was an exploration of racism in sport, certainly in an artistic approach and more so, to reach broader audiences. Tony Albert's inspiration is indigenous artist Gordon Bennett to whom he offers voluminous recognition. This short interview video from the Sydney Morning Herald shows Tony Albert speaking to his Basil Sellers Art Prize winning entry 'Once upon a time'. (media.smh.com.au)
One frame: Tony Albert's 'Once upon a time'
Ian Potter Museum of Art director Kelly Gellatly said it had quickly become the best attended exhibition on the Ian Potter calendar and that it is a monumental prize and deliberately so.
Chris McAuliffe the Independent art historian and Honorary Fellow at the Australian Centre at University of Melbourne who was the founding director for this art prize wrote in The Conversation on Friday (25 July) - that there is more to supporting an artist than money alone; doors can be opened, connections made and the artist's interests fertilised.
Further Chris McAuliffe said, the focus was on making the prize exhibition a serious platform for discovering, engaging with and promoting contemporary art. The profile and reputation of every finalist should be enhanced, not just the winner. (theconversation.com)
The Point Tavern – Carlisle Waters in conjunction with Mr Basil Sellers AM "Midge Point" Art Prize was announced on Saturday morning at The Point Tavern with Gina Passfield getting the nod.
Gina Passfield (left) with Mackay Shire's Eunice Donovan holding "The visitors"
The two judges from nearby Airlie Beach Jan Maltby and Dawn Rossetti had 23 entries to judge from local artists based in Midge Point and Bloomsbury with eight only to hang at The Point Tavern for three weeks and the winner.
In a statement read out they commented: "Each mark or brush stroke belongs to you... There is no must in art. You are free to make a small or bold stroke that will make you feel great once you have done it. Get adventurous with colour and movement. Congratulations to all exhibitors."
Local developer of the Carlisle Waters estate Mr John Lyons came on board the art prize as the "local contributor" to this community event. It was my pleasure to present three of my desk top art works to John Lyons and the two ladies who put the art prize together, Inas Jackson and Betty Moxham.
2013 winner (last year) Jill Liepertz with her 2014 entry selected as a finalist titled "Window to the past".
Well-Being Australia has been involved with this small coastal community since 2011 with the opening of the missionary cottage – Basil Sellers Laguna Quays Respite.
Since then the mission has established four community events -
The Basil Sellers Art Prize
On-line news (in place of a hard copy that closed)
Annual Business Luncheon
Citizenship Awards at Farm Fest on 7 September
The Basil Sellers Midge Point eight finalists and art works may be found on the Midge Point – Bloombury News and Mews "Art Page". (www.mpbnews.org)
Dr Mark Tronson, winner Gina Passfield and Mr John Lyons
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html