Tim Johnson wins $50,000 Arthur Guy Painting Prize - Art Collector

Tim Johnson, Community base, 2010. Acrylic on linen, 150 x 180cm. Courtesy: the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne

14 February 2011 | Painter Tim Johnson has been awarded the $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, a biennial open painting prize awarded by Bendigo Art Gallery. The winning work, Community Base, will now be acquired by the gallery.

“The painting shows Western Desert artists such as Clifford Possum and Charlie Tarawa at camp sites with their paintings at Papunya and Kintore,” says Johnson.

“The painting is an acknowledgement of them and their place in art. It puts forward a model of what art can be; a community-based model where art is created about a community, by the people who live there.

“It is presenting ideas and imagery that come from real events and artists who became important in Australian art yet lived in remote communities.

“Because of my background in conceptual art I am influenced by what these artists have done, and have tried to take on board some of their ideas. I believe they show a way of reaching out beyond your own environment.”

Since 1980 Johnson has actively collaborated with numerous Indigenous artists, including Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri, as well as senior Asian artists.

Johnson was selected from a field of 37 shortlisted artists, including Tim McMonagle, Kate Bergin, Neil Haddon, Yvette Coppersmith, Geoff Newton Megan Walch and Aida Tomescu.

Jane O'Sullivan

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