Gabori wins inaugural $50,000 Gold prize - Art Collector

Mirdidingkingathi Juwarnda Sally Gabori, Dibirdibi Country, 2011. Synthetic polymer paint on linen, 198 x 455cm. Courtesy: the artist; Mornington Island Art; and Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne

4 June 2012 | Bentinck Island painter Sally Gabori has won the first Gold Award, a $50,000 biennial prize for contemporary Australian painting run by the Rockhampton Art Gallery.

Her work was selected from a small field of only eight shortlisted artists, which included Queenslanders Kate Bergin, Michael Zavros and Victoria Reichelt, alongside Juan Ford and Kate Shaw from Victoria and Jason Benjamin and Ben Quilty from New South Wales.

Gabori’s work, an imposing four-and-a-half metre wide canvas, is a depiction of her late husband’s country in the free and energetic style she has rapidly become known for. “Its bold blacks, delicate pinks and flaming vermilion shout and dance with joy,” says judge Julie Ewington, curatorial manager of Australian art at the Queensland Art Gallery.

She adds: “Sally Gabori’s great achievement is to harness the spontaneity of modern acrylic paints to the knowledge and insights gained over a lifeti me — and to do that with passion, great confidence and daring.”

The award exhibition continues until 12 August 2012 at Rockhampton Art Gallery in Queensland.

Jane O'Sullivan

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