Sydney-based artist Camie Lyons works across a variety of mediums including sculpture, painting and drawing. Her work is fluid and physical, playing with the balance and tension between positive and negative space in both her two and three-dimensional works. Drawing upon her intuition and experience as a contemporary dancer, Lyons’ practice explores organic possibilities of line, form and movement.
Camie Lyons, Enviable attributes, 2017, bronze free pour with light gold patina, 26 x 74 x 19cm
In 2018, Lyons participated in the Hill End Artists in Residence Program. An in-depth creative experience and physical exploration of her creative process which allowed complete immersion into her practice. She found herself free to experiment with found and natural objects; clay, branches, sticks, stones and coloured ochres. The result is a collection of works that connect to the natural world and acknowledge the history and psyche of Hill End.
Camie Lyons with Impromptu making, 2019, steel with red patina, open edition, patina variable, 184 x 160 x 178cm
The latest cancellation due to the Covid-19 pandemic is Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize. The biennial event, which draws approximately a half million people into downtown Grand Rapids, was scheduled for September 16th through October 4th.
Organizers had hoped to modify the event, shifting to outdoor venues and large public areas, but ultimately couldn’t find a way to assure a comfortable level of safety for participants and for the public. “Artist and venue registration fees will be refunded”, according to a release posted on the Art Prize website. “Sponsors that had previously committed to participate in ArtPrize 2020 will be contacted in the coming days to arrange for the cancellation of partnership agreements.”
With the cancellation came a more ominous announcement:
“The ArtPrize organization will pause its overall operations as a result of the 2020 cancellation and take time to evaluate the possibility of future events.”
Here’s why the future of ArtPrize is up in the air: As with any undertaking as large as ArtPrize, it requires both a major commitment in terms of staff and organization, but also a financial commitment from benefactors and underwriters. And this isn’t even factoring safety issues. While some economic indicators are showing a few initial positive signs after the first wave of the coronavirus, much is still unknown.
For example, many of the exhibits for ArtPrize were in downtown restaurants. Many of those restaurants are just now gradually re-opening to limited capacity, after the mandated shutdown. Operators would be balancing trying to follow state guidelines, possibly with smaller staffs, while many patrons for ArtPrize don’t necessarily translate into paying customers, but those operators would still be forced to put those strained resources into maintaining crowd control and safety.
And, finally, and this speaks more specifically to the 2020 event, but there is the fear of a “second wave” of coronavirus later in the year, which would possibly be about the same time as this event is scheduled.
‘The Horizon’ by emerging Hobart artist Sam Field; within this new body of vibrant and raw paintings, Field adopts a distinctively robust aesthetic to critique Australian folklore and unpick the mistruths woven into the fabric of our recorded history. Field’s work often fosters a hardened perspective that emphasises human fallibility, resulting in compositions that could be mistaken for post-apocalyptic Australian postcards. The sounds and tales that these paintings evoke are simultaneously wondrous and solemn; their concerns may be uncomfortable but are undeniably Australian.
Sam Field, Man and Woman Walking Through Dry River of Empire (Man Laying Dog Bait), 2020, oil on board, 132 x 122cm. Courtesy the artist and Despard Gallery, Tasmania
‘The uncomfortable negotiating of the mythologies of this country; it’s colonial mantle, its masculinity, its romanticism, its filmic lag, its apparently wild geography – Field embraces the discomfort of wrestling the Aussie battler head-on.’– Fernando do Campo
SYDNEY artist Abdul Abdullah has been confirmed as the judge at this year’s prestigious Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize.
Speaking from Sydney, the artist said he was looking forward to coming back to Lismore.
“I have been fortunate enough to have been a judge for the Young Archies at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2017 and 2018, and previous to that I was the judge for the Shirl Portrait Prize at the Bega Regional Gallery,” he said.
“I’ve visited Lismore to work with young people at the Lismore Gallery as part of the Beyond Empathy youth outreach program (2019).
“I hopefully will be able to judge the prizes in person now that restrictions have eased.
“It’s hard for me to say what I’m going to be looking for when I judge the prize, but generally I look for skill, concept and chutzpah.”
One of the most successful contemporary young Australian artists of the last decade, Abdul Abdullah is a multidisciplinary artist.
He is a self-described “outsider among outsiders”, and many of his projects have engaged with different marginalised minority groups.
The Perth-born artist identifies as a Muslim with both Malay/Indonesian and convict/settler Australian heritage.
In 2011 he won the 2011 Blake Prize for Human Justice with his photographic self-portrait featuring his tattoo of the Southern Cross surrounding an Islamic crescent moon and star, a work called Them and Us.
Last December, the artist ‒ whose grandfathers both fought in the Second World War in New Guinea ‒ had his work All Let Us Rejoice and For We Are Young and Free (out of the touring exhibition Violent Salt) criticised by Nationals MP George Christensen and Mackay local councillor Martin Bell.
In 2016, he painted Craig Campbell, who left the police force with PTSD after defending two Middle Eastern men during the Cronulla Riots, a painting that made him an Archibald Prize finalist for the third time.
In 2013, he was a finalist again with a painting of Anthony Mundine.
Formerly known as the Northern Rivers Portrait Prize, the Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize is a biennial prize open to artists Australia wide and is now in its seventh year.
The prize was originally open to paintings and drawings but has now expanded to include portraits of any subject in any medium.
In 2018, Dr Michael Brand selected Nicole Kelly’s Jumaadi + Clouds + Rain as winner of the prize, with Zom Osborne’s Who will Protect Us named as a highly commended entry.
This year’s winner will receive $10,000 as an acquisitive prize.