Wednesday, December 9, 2009

58th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition

Above: (l to r) Mrs Penny Hawker, Hon David Hawker MP, exhibiting artist Dianne Coulter and Gallery Director Anthony Camm; Mr Hawker addressing the audience at the opening.

We were very pleased to welcome Member for Wannon, the Hon David Hawker MP, to officially open the 58th Blake Prize Touring Exhibition last Saturday afternoon. The exhibition comes to Ararat direct from its unveiling in Sydney. We also welcomed Blake Prize Finalist and Winner of the inaugural Human Justice Award, Dianne Coulter, who provided closing remarks.

Presented by the Blake Society, named after the visionary artist and poet William Blake, the Blake Prize was established in 1951 to encourage artists to create significant works of art with religious content. Today the Blake Prize attracts fresh, contemporary expressions of spirituality, with artists extending the envelope to encompass a wide diversity of religious expression that make up the landscape of belief in Australia.

The touring exhibition features the work of 30 finalists including the winning work 'Rapture (silent anthem)' – a silent video created by Angelica Mesiti. Filmed from a concealed position under the stage at the Big Day Out music festival, Mesiti’s video captures the ecstatic faces of young music fans and intriguingly connects a contemporary cultural moment with art historical references and Christian iconography.

The Gallery is pleased to be the exclusive Victorian presenter of this exhibition and anticipates strong attendances due to the Blake Prize’s high profile as one of Australia’s leading art prizes. The exhibition continues until 16 January 2010.

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