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Sunday, July 14, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Sophie’s desert swells top the national art prize

“Flying Over Desert Swells,” by Sophie Cape.

SOPHIE Cape, from NSW, has won the $15,000 Open Prize in the 2023 National Capital Art Prize for her artwork “Flying Over Desert Swells”.

Cape’s work, made from rust, oil, metal dust, local pigment and acrylic on cotton rag, was inspired after she travelled across the Simpson Desert but was forced by severe flooding to flee south, across ghostly salt lakes, bushfire blackened landscapes and through the blood red-soaked iron mountains of the Flinders Ranges.

She headed this year’s National Capital Art Prize winners announced on Thursday night at Aarwun Gallery.

Genevieve Loy Kemarre’s “Bush Turkey Dreaming”

Genevieve Loy Kemarre who travelled from Utopia, NT to attend tonight’s opening, won the $15,000 First Nations Prize for her artwork “Bush Turkey Dreaming”, reflecting a significant Dreaming for the Alyawarre people which is often re-enacted during ceremonies.

Katherine Boland’s “Ghost Gums Triptych”

Katherine Boland, from NSW, won the $15,000 Sustainability Prize for her artwork “Ghost Gums Triptych” from a wide field of entries in sculpture, textiles and other media as well as painting. It depicts ghostly gums enveloped in sheets of clear plastic struggling to survive in a de-natured landscape.

The $2500 Peoples Award, chosen by online voting, went to ACT artist Lyn Davidson for her swaddled form “Hope”, woven from NZ flax grown in the artist’s garden.

ACT artist, Lyn Davidson’s “Hope”.

The winners were announced at the gala opening of the public exhibition of finalists, selected from the 93 shortlisted artworks which were sent to Canberra to be judged by John Sacker, Sasha Grishin, Adam Knight, Wayne Qulliam and Wendy Sharpe.

Now in its third year, the prize has attracted 840 entries, 50 more than last year, with the 92 finalists representing every state and territory, including six indigenous entries from WA.

Founder of the award Robert Stephens thanked major partner, the Mineral Councils of Australia, and other sponsors, while adding: “We all view the world through a different lens, and it takes bravery to share our views and beliefs, especially where it can be judged by others”.

The 93 finalist artworks are on display at Aarwun Gallery, Federation Square, Gold Creek until October 8. All the artworks are for sale.

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Helen Musa

Helen Musa

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