Preview: bluethumb Art Prize Exhibition

The entries are in, the top 100 shortlisted and, with difficulty, our 12 industry expert judges have managed to whittle that selection down to 25 finalists for the exhibition. After receiving these artworks from all over Australia, opening night is finally around the corner and so is the announcement of the winner! We thought we’d take you behind the scenes and show you the slightly messy process of preparing the gallery, and a sneaky peek at the finished exhibition.

img_6212_1024We know art dog Grungle has his favourites too, but he’s keeping mum

It’s one thing to prepare for an exhibition from an office, over the phone, and another thing entirely to see it come together in the flesh. We all have our favourite pieces, but being at No Vacancy Gallery to assist in hanging was a real reminder of the time, thought and skill that has gone into each and every one of the 25 artworks selected for the show.

img_6235_1024Janni, bluethumb’s Curator, deciding how to hang the collection

There wasn’t too much time for standing around awestruck, however – we had work to do! Deciding where to hang each artwork was no easy feat, but after much thought our Curator Janni Fewster created a layout where paintings complimented rather than clashed with one another. It was all rather fun, really!

img_6217_1024No Vacancy’s Rio getting things looking spick and span 

If you look carefully, you might be able to spy Mathew Quick’s piece Land of the Free in the photo above. “The work cleverly uses Washington, a symbol of liberty, to highlight unrest in a constantly surveilled landscape,” says artist and principal lecturer Gregory Ackland, one of our expert judges. “The painting is skillful, its composition strong but most importantly its message of subversion and cynicism is not overly complicated and leads us to think further about our current social state, our place within it, and how we got ourselves to this point.” Hmm, food for thought as well as a visual masterpiece! 

img_6280_1024Refugee Family, by Agnes Bruck, with a peek of some of the exhibition behind

This piece in the foreground, Refugee Family by Agnes Bruck, is another one not to be missed. Arts writer and judge Madeleine Dore notes that “Agnes Bruck’s drawing is a stunning encapsulation of a pertinent political and social issue, stopping us in our tracks and encouraging the viewer to question the supposed facelessness of the refugee crisis.”

These works look incredible already, but trust us, they’re better close up 

We’re so excited to see our artists’ stunning work hung immaculately at No Vacancy Gallery, and we’re even more excited to share and celebrate it with the rest of Australia at Friday night’s opening on the 20th of January! If you can’t come to the launch, never fear – the exhibition will be open, free and looking fabulous until the 29th, or if you can’t make it to that either, there’s always the full exhibition collection online here!


Winner of the bluethumb Art Prize

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