Pat Brassington: Picturing

Alex Seton Wins Sovereign Asia Art Prize With Marble Boat Engine – Ocula Magazine

Seton said he was proud to show alongside other artists from the region, ‘where all the most exciting art is being made now’.

Alex Seton, Oilstone 05_Corrosion (2019). Courtesy the artist and Sovereign Art Foundation. Image: Mark Pokorny.

Australian artist Alex Seton won this year’s Sovereign Asia Art Prize with a Yamaha boat engine recreated in marble. He receives US $30,000 in acknowledgement of the work, entitled Oilstone 05_Corrosion (2019).

Two more prizewinners were announced alongside Seton. Pakistani artist Saba Qizilbash was awarded The Vogue Hong Kong Women’s Art Prize of $5,000 for her work Inbezelment (2019), an installation of graphite drawings on mylar paper, and Indonesian artist Made Wiguna Valasara won the Public Vote Prize of $1,000 for her work Daily Parade (2019), a hand-stitched, embossed canvas evocative of traditional Balinese painting.

In his practice, Seton adopts materials and techniques used in classical statuary to bring out the beauty in banal contemporary objects. To create Oilstone 05_Corrosion, he took 200-million-year-old stone and smashed it, reassembled it, and weathered it with hydrochloric acid to give it the appearance of an ancient relic.

Seton was nominated for the prize by Dr Mikala Tai, Director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art in Sydney.

‘Without curator advocates like Mikala it’s almost impossible to stand out in the wonderful roar of contemporary art now,’ Seton said. ‘This year’s field of artists have my admiration and heartfelt congratulations for their bold and sensitive works, and I’m proud to show alongside them together as artists of the Asia-Pacific region. It is after all, where all the most exciting art is being made now.’

Altogether, Mikala and 87 other art professionals nominated 611 mid-career artists from 26 countries and territories for the prize. That number was whittled down to a shortlist of 31 by a judging panel comprising: museum director David Elliott, Financial Times arts editor Jan Dalley, art historian Jiyoon Lee, and artists Miao Xiaochun and Zhou Li. The shortlisted artists took part in the Finalists Exhibition at K11 HACC, from June 6–July 19, where Hong Kong-based judges architect William Lim, Asia Society’s Alice Mong, and Asia Art Archive’s Elaine Lin added their scores before a winner was chosen.

The Sovereign Art Prize was established in 2003 by the Sovereign Art Foundation, a charitable organisation that aims to draw attention to art talent in Asia and use the arts to benefit disadvantaged children. All the shortlisted artworks, other than Seton’s, will be auctioned online at, with proceeds split evenly between the artists and the foundation’s charitable projects. —[O]

Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery open their South Australian Living Artist Festival online – Naracoorte Herald

Faced with the doors closed during a highly-coveted community art competition in April led the Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery team to draw on their talents to remain in the public eye.

The optimists had turned to technology to promote winners and works in their annual IBIS Rising Naracoorte Gallery Art Prize.

The same remedy will be used for the South Australian Living Artist (SALA) Festival which kicks off on Friday, July 31.

Gallery secretary Lesley Barker explained how coronavirus regulations forced art spaces like theirs to suddenly close to the public.

“We felt the effects but equally we felt the people hurting the most would be the artists, and we all needed something positive to look forward to,” Mrs Barker explained.

The artist, who enjoys spinning, weaving and felting and featured in the recent competition, said it was empathy which led the team to host their annual competition online.

“And it was the most amazing hit,” she shared.

“We had fantastic support from local artists…they were pleased to have the support from us.”

The competition went live through Facebook with Mrs Barker and a few judges involved in announcing the section winners.

“We went live at different stages so people couldn’t jump ahead and that made it feel a bit more like a normal opening,” she said.

Importantly, the process enabled entrants to share the footage with family and friends around the world.

“Which is what they did…I couldn’t believe how it all sort of took off.”

While unofficial view numbers unknown, the board were thrilled with the huge amount of comments and likes.

“Being the first time we had done this, there were no great expectations either.”

We felt the effects but equally we felt the people hurting the most would be the artists.

Naracoorte Regional Art Gallery secretary Lesley Barker

Mrs Barker credits the outcome to the artists and “people who came out of the woodwork to assist”.

“It really was just a matter of coordinating it,” she said.

Due to the online success and the gallery unable to cater for a large group during SALA as a result of restrictions, the same format will be used.

“We can’t have a normal opening as we normally have over a hundred people attend,” she said.

However, the public is still encouraged to head to the gallery during normal opening hours to view works from their two exhibitions.

Celebrating Limestone Coast Art – involves 33 adult artists featuring wonderfully inspiring and diverse range of styles, skills, experience and genres – guaranteed to appeal to everyone who visits.

All artists are professionals and live within a 100km radius of Naracoorte, with two hailing from Mount Gambier and an indigenous artist in the mix.

“His work is just mind blowing,” Mrs Barker said.

Artwork includes ceramics, craft, drawing, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and textiles.

The Local Artists of the Limestone Coast is a competition and exhibition of artwork which aims to celebrate young artists from Reception to Year 4, Years 5 to 7 and secondary school.

These budding artists will showcase drawing, mixed media, painting and photography.

Mrs Barker said winners of the children’s competition are expected to be announced on July 31 with a private donor providing the cash prizes.

She explained how SALA organisers have also requested photos of all the children who place entries to choose winners and will further award the students.

An artist herself, Mrs Barker who enjoys spinning, weaving and felting,

Naracoorte Regional Gallery will open during the SALA Festival, Wednesday to Friday from 10am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm.

A catalogue with work and prices will soon feature on Facebook and for more details click here.