Great news for Melbourne-based artist Diena Georgetti and Melbourne-based emerging artist Kenny Pittock who yesterday took out the 2017 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize.
This year’s judges – Justin Paton (Head Curator for International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales), Judith Blackall (NAS Gallery Curator) and Mark Harpley (Visual Arts Coordinator, Redlands School) – announced the award at the opening night of the exhibition, presented at the National Art School Gallery in Sydney. As always with these things, the judges professed a difficult time selecting winners due to the very strong field of artwork in both the established and emerging artist categories. You can’t exactly say it was easy even if it was, can you?
Diena Georgetti was awarded the established artist category for The Humanity of Construction Painting (2017) and Kenny Pittock was awarded the emerging artist category for Fifty-two found shopping lists written by people who need milk (2016).
Diena Georgetti (b. 1966, Alice Springs) has been a significant figure in Australian contemporary art since the late 1980s. Her work was included last year in the major, two-chapter survey exhibition of contemporary Australian painting, Painting. More Painting, at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne.
Emerging artist Kenny Pittock’s winning work is a funny and poignant look at the everyday: 52 shopping lists discarded in the milk section of a supermarket. Pittock has faithfully reproduced every detail of each list on white earthenware, painstakingly detailing the often intimate items the shoppers listed, occasional personal notes and range of languages. It’s an oddly touching work, but mostly I love it because I have long collected discarded shopping lists from supermarket trolleys. It’s a compulsion I thought was best hidden, so it’s good to know I’m not alone.
Now in its 21st year, the annual exhibition provides a platform for an artist-selected exhibition that features established artists alongside early-career artists. The exhibition’s guest curator, internationally regarded Melbourne-based artist Callum Morton, made the selection in line with the Prize’s model which sees the curator nominate established artists, who in turn each choose one emerging artist to create work for the exhibition.
The 20 pairings of established and emerging artists for the 2017 Prize are:
• Zanny Begg and Shivanjani Lal
• Damiano Bertoli and Anna Higgins
• Jon Campbell and Kenny Pittock
• Barbara Cleveland and Get to Work
• DAMP and Pitcha Makin Fellas
• Diena Georgetti and Spencer Harvie
• Agatha Gothe-Snape and Ella Sutherland
• David Haines & Joyce Hinterding and Niall Robb
• Laresa Kosloff and Jessie Bullivant
• Nicholas Mangan and Jamie O’Connell
• A Constructed World and Amanda Lee Radoomi
• John Meade and Jethro Harcourt
• Dan Moynihan and Georgina Cue
• Kusum Normoyle and Eugene Choi
• Spiros Panigirakis and Marnie Edmiston
• Lisa Radford and Kalinda Vary
• Steven Rhall and Kate Ten Burren
• Stuart Ringholt and Kara Baldwin
• Daniel von Sturmer and Taree Mackenzie
• Christian Thompson and James Tylor
Morton commented on the artist pairings:
“I wanted to include people who had a direct connection to a younger generation through their various communities, so that the conversation between the generations might make some sense when assembled together. There are many artists included who teach at a range of tertiary institutions around the country and who have had a significant and continuing influence on successive generations of artists.”
Participating artists have no limitations on their choice of media or subject matter and can submit a single recent work to contend for one of two prizes. The main award for established artists is the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, valued at $25,000 and sponsored by Konica Minolta. The Emerging Artist Prize is valued at $10,000 and sponsored by Glenburn Pastoral Company (Brett Whitford). Most works are available for purchase with the exception of the winning works that are acquired into the permanent art collection of Redlands School, in accordance with the tradition of the Prize.