Victoria Cooper+Doug Spowart Blog

Olive Cotton Award Winner Announced

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$20,000 winner of Olive Cotton Award announced

Magnum Photographer takes out prize money for intriguing portrait

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Photographers, Olive Cotton Award entrants, and the general public filled the foyer of the Tweed River Art Gallery tonight eager to hear who had won the 2013 Olive Cotton Award.  The exhibition features the work of 91 finalists from all Australian states and territories.  The exhibition features entries from emerging and established photographers selected from 381 entries Australian wide.

The judge, Helen Ennis, Head at the School of Art, Australian National University was delighted to judge the Olive Cotton Award, having a particular connection to Olive, as her biographer.  The award is funded by Olive Cotton’s family in memory of one of Australia’s leading twentieth century photographers.  In deciding the winner Ennis shortlisted a selection of works awarding four Highly Commended awards to works which held her attention due to the “clarity of the photographers’ approaches to portraiture and the different kinds of relationships they had with their subjects”.   These award were made to:

Petrina Hicks from Sydney for Ornament – “a haunting image of a young woman from another realm, rendered in muted colour”.

Tamara Dean from Sydney for Brothers – “a very moody and memorable image of teenage brothers photographed in a gloomy bush setting”.

Lee Grant from Canberra for Kristy – “a slightly awkward portrait of a young actress who belongs emphatically to the present time”.

Narelle Munro of Sydney for David– “a very sympathetic close-up portrait of the New York based Australian artist David Rankin”.

The winner of the $20,000 acquisitive prize is Trent Parke, one of Australia’s best known documentary photographers and the first Australian to join the prestigious Magnum Photos collective.  Of his entry Candid portrait of a woman on a street corner Ennis said it is “a very unusual work, the subject isn’t immediately visible and so our notions of portraiture are challenged.  The viewer is invited to actively work with the image in order for the face of this unknown woman to become apparent”.

Award Co-ordinator Anouk Beck said “Trent Parke was elated at the news and to receive an award for this work which marks a new direction for him and his first foray into portraiture”.

Through the generosity of the Friends of the Gallery Inc. Director Susi Muddiman selected four works for purchase for the Gallery’s permanent collection.  Her selections were:

Self portrait with cactus and telephone  2013 by Raimond de Weerdt of Lismore;

Bob Kattar MP  2011 by Russell Shakespeare of Currumnin Qld;

Barry Jones and the ancestor  2012 by Imogen Hall of Melbourne;

And Noah  2013, a portrait of actor Noah Taylor by Sahlan Hayes of Kangaloon and Sydney;

On Sunday 15 September, at 11.00am, Dr Doug Spowart will present a floortalk on the Olive Cotton Award 2013 exhibition.  Spowart’s reviews have been published in publications such as Art Monthly and the popular magazine Better Photography. All are welcome to attend.

At 1.00pm on Sunday 15 September Doug Spowart and Dr Victoria Cooper will be discussing The Artist and Social Media – making connections and making art.  Victoria and Doug are interdisciplinary visual artists who have adopted social media and blogs as a medium an integral part of their contemporary arts practice.  Using social media platforms they post reviews, profiles, opinions and collected writing about issues in the broader arts community which are then accessible and invite dialogue from a wide online community.  Both have lectured nationally and their work has been acquired for the artists’ books, rare book and manuscript collections in Artspace Mackay, State Libraries of Queensland and Victoria, the National Library of Australia and in the Carleton College Collection in the USA.

Complementing the 2013 Award is the ABC Open digital exhibition 100 Faces, the best of ABC

Open’s Snapped: Faces. This is a small selection from over 1000 portraits, captured by amateur and professional photographers throughout regional Australia, for the ABC Open June photography

challenge SNAPPED: FACES.

The exhibition continues until Sunday 29 September.  The Gallery and Gallery Cafe are open Wednesday to Sunday 10am-5pm.

A bonus – A PDF of the exhibition catalogue (Note images have been cropped square for design purposes) Go see the exhibition

SEE earlier post for details …

Click Here: 2013 OCA catalogue for web_screen


Written by Cooper+Spowart

August 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

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