Ben Tankard shortlisted for the Gallipoli Art Prize
We’re delighted to congratulate Ben Tankard on being named one of the finalists in the 2014 Gallipoli Art Prize. The winner will be announced on April 23rd, and if you happen to live in Sydney you can view the work of the finalists at the Gallipoli Memorial Club from April 24th.
The prize is open to artists of Australian, New Zealand or Turkish citizenship, and is awarded to the artist who best depicts the spirit of the Gallipoli campaign. Ben says that the prize receives a good mix of styles, from representational to abstract.
Ben says he was “thrilled” that his piece was accepted. “Prizes like this are really ‘tent poles’ of an artist’s career, a confirmation that your career is on the right track.”
Ben painted his piece, a sepia toned landscape called Impossible Objective, with the prize in mind. “Though it does sit in with my other paintings in terms of style, composition and subject matter,” he adds. “A soldier looks up at a treacherous, rocky landscape, topped by an ‘impossible shape’, an optical illusion.”
“It’s a metaphor for the very difficult terrain that the ANZACs at Gallipoli were expected to capture from the Turks. Optical illusions are a recurring image in my paintings, as are lonely figures in strange landscapes.”
Ben nominates Euan MacLeod and Peter Wegner as some of his favourite past winners of the Gallipoli Art Prize. “Their work is fantastic,” he says. “It’s a prestigious prize, and an important one, given the theme and the importance of the ANZAC tradition. The prize money is $20,000, which would be very useful indeed, and the winner receives a good shot of publicity as well, which is vital for artists.”
“I think it’s important for art to try to connect with the real world, and to deal with subjects that are important to our society,” he says.
Wishing you the best of luck for the April 23rd announcement, Ben, from all of us at Bluethumb. Find more of Ben Tankard’s fantastic work here.