Pat Brassington and Jack Lanagan Dunbar take out Redlands Prize - Art Collector

Pat Brassington, Pair Bonding (2015) and Jack Lanagan Dunbar, Studies in Light, Movement and Time (2016). Courtesy: the artists and NAS Gallery, Sydney

Renowned Tasmanian photomedia artist Pat Brassington has taken out this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, alongside Sydney-based Jack Lanagan Dunbar who won the emerging artist award. The winners were selected from a strong lineup of 43 Australian and New Zealand emerging and established artists.

Now in its 20th year, the Redlands prize model is a unique one. The exhibition’s guest curator – this year the internationally regarded Mikala Dwyer – nominates a selection of established artists, who each in turn choose one emerging artist to create work for the exhibition. Participating artists have no limitations on their choice of media or subject matter. Dwyer’s selection of established artists this year included Daniel Boyd, Julie Fragar, Matthys Gerber and Janet Burchill and Jennifer McCamley, among others. “Together, these artists exhibit the diversity in approach and technique, revealing the broad spectrum of work and ideas being produced currently in Australia and New Zealand,” says Dwyer.

The judges for this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize included John Kaldor, NAS Gallery curator Judith Blackall and Mark Harpley and Fabian Byrne from the Visual Art Department at Redlands School. The decision was “unanimous” that Brassington’s striking visual montage
Pair Bonding should be honoured with the $25,000 established artist prize. Brassington’s practice is informed by the writings and artworks of the Surrealists. She instills her work with layers, symbols and meanings that are unruly and sometimes a little disturbing, like those of an unconscious mind. Brassington says of her win: “I am thrilled to win this year’s Redlands Art Prize. To be nominated by a peer and to have my work exhibited alongside a stellar group of established and emerging artists is a truly unique and valued experience.”

Brassington selected emerging artist Jacob Leary to participate in the award. “Undaunted Jacob seems to embrace complexity and perceive windows of clarity in its many weaves,” says the winner. “That is what I find exciting about his output.” Established artist Simon Yates selected winning emerging artist Dunbar. Dunbar’s highly inventive installation of images and sculptures are from his coming body of work
Studies in Light, Movement and Time. The subjects of his photographs, which appear to be luminous ceramic vases, are in fact illusions formed by a clever mechanism of spinning metal rods. The objects don’t actually exist in a three-dimensional space; they are only rendered complete through the artist’s clever use of photographic technologies.

The winning works, along with the other finalists, can be seen at the NAS Gallery at the National Art School in Sydney until 14 May 2016. Most works are available for purchase, with the exception of the winning works that are acquired into the permanent art collection of Redlands School. Brassington's current solo exhibition
Just So is on view at ARC ONE Gallery in Melbourne until 9 April 2016. Brassington’s next show exhibits at Stills Gallery in Sydney from18 May to 18 June 2016.

Camilla Wagstaff

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