The winner of the Nillumbik Prize 2018, as well as two Highly Commended awards, were selected and announced by Mark Feary, Artistic Director of Gertrude Contemporary, at the official opening of the exhibition on Thursday 31 May 2018.
Siri Hayes was named winner of The Nillumbik Prize 2018 for her work Yellow oranges and purple browns, and Samuel Condon and Ash Keating were both awarded high commendations. Mark Feary had this to say about the Prize and his selection;
'Some 15 years after its founding, the Nillumbik Prize demonstrates its capacity to evolve and reflect the shifting nature of artistic practice. In selecting Siri Hayes as the 2018 recipient for her work 'Yellow oranges and purple browns', I was attracted to her abstraction of the photographic. It is a digital image of an image not yet formed, and indeed one that will never be revealed. With a nod to modernist abstraction in painting, the work nevertheless positions itself very much within a contemporary context.
The work of Ash Keating similarly reflects upon the medium of painting. Yet instead of a canvas, Ash uses a vast concrete wall of an unremarkable industrial facility. As if to note the blight of such bland architecture, the artist paints its entire surface as if to evaporate the vision of the building entirely. Samuel Condon’s skillfully rendered painting has a scale that encourages intimacy. Somewhat timeless in its representation, the work shows its capacity to be highly representational, while almost dispensing with the full plane of the canvas.'
The Nillumbik Prize is a diverse exhibition which welcomes a broad variety of mediums and this year was no exception. The 2018 call out received entries spanning video, sculpture, painting, photography, installation, textiles, ceramics and glass, to name a few. Montsalvat was thrilled to, once again, host and administer this prize from the initial call for entries, all the way through to the resulting exhibition, and will enjoy the experience of sharing it with our visitors over its' two month duration (31 May - 22 July 2018).
This year, the Nillumbik Prize received 182 artwork entries from 136 artists who either reside in or have a connection to the Nillumbik Shire. The selection panel consisted of Anthony Fitzpatrick of TarraWarra Museum, artist Christine Johnson and Grace Longato, Cultural Collections Officer at the Nillumbik Shire Council. We offer our thanks to the selection panel for their expert insights and integrity which resulted in a wonderfully diverse exhibition.
We would also like to thank Mark Feary sincerely for his generosity in judging The Nillumbik Prize 2018, and for his considerate and thoughtful evaluations of the many works on show.
Last, but most certainly not least, we extend our enormous congratulations to the winners, the finalists, and all of this year's applicants who have each brought such passion and appreciation to this annual art prize.
Visit the exhibition to have your say in the People's Choice Award, which will be drawn and announced on Wednesday the 18th July.
Image: 2018 Winner Siri Hayes, Yellow oranges and purple browns, 2017, inkjet on cotton rag paper, 77cm x 77cm