The finalists’ exhibition will take place at the IMA from 27 May to 19 August 2023, featuring compelling works by thirteen emerging artists selected from across the country. Curated by Sebastian Henry-Jones, the exhibition spans painting, sculpture, video, drawing, printmaking, and photography in an examination of the theme of context.
“The exhibition is organised around the theme of context, recognising the fact that an artist’s practice does not only occur in the studio, but also, is inherently linked to the particularities of time and place,” said Henry-Jones.
“Whether it be through the materials they use, the research they are engaged in, the place in which it occurs, or the audiences they make work for, each finalist in ‘the churchie’ this year is intrinsically connected to the cultural, social, economic, and historic conditions that shape the reality of our lives on this continent today.”
The artists each offer striking and generous perspectives, exploring their unique experiences and connections to place, history, and time. Resourceful in use of materials and form, the works mine histories, archives, and knowledge to reimagine and reposition their subjects in present and future contexts.
Brisbane-based Amanda Bennetts uses her experience living with a progressive neurological disease to critically explore issues relating to disability. Her large installation works highlights the labour of self-care for people with disability amidst a wellness-obsessed culture.
Jess Tan’s metamorphosising sculptures and site-specific installations are often created out of what she eaten, found, broken, and previously made. Her practice follows an inquiry into material reconfiguration, highlighting how matter from can be transformed to create different ways of understanding.
Maiawali, Karuwali, Pitta-Pitta, and Gomeroi artist Dylan Bolger’s work sits between art and architecture. Working to reposition Indigenous culture to the fore of public consciousness, Bolger’s site-specific and public artworks connect the built environment to Country and its inherent knowledge.
Corben Mudjandi’s nostalgic analogue photographs often explore themes of being on Country, such as family, hunting, or being in nature. A Mirrar Traditional Owner, Mudjandi and his family lead the strong resistance to uranium mining on Mirrar Country in Kakadu National Park.
Jess Tan’s metamorphosising sculptures and site-specific installations are often created out of what she has eaten, broken, found, and previously made. Her work follows an inquiry into material reconfiguration, highlighting how matter from can be transformed to generate different ways of understanding.
Ash Tower’s work fixates on the edges of human knowledge–where the limits of what we know about the world is inscribed on surviving artefacts or historical records. Often finding competing accounts of history, Tower proposes her own alternative histories and speculative narratives which invite us to reflect on how we construct knowledge and tell our history.
Roberta Joy Rich’s video and installation works explore resilience and power, drawing reference from history, popular culture, and her diaspora southern African Cape identity. Using language and satire, Rich interrogates archives and histories to the point where they may be able to reframed and retold with new empowering narratives.
In addition to the Major Prize, sponsored by BSPN Architecture, the $5,000 Special Commendation prize, sponsored by Fardoulys Constructions, and the two $1,000 Commendation prizes, sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services will be announced at the Prize Announcement on 2 June.
Gallery visitors are invited to cast their vote in the $3,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services, to be awarded at the conclusion of the exhibition. One lucky voter will win a two-night stay courtesy of Spicers Retreats.
On view from 27 May–19 August 2023. 💥