Paddington Art Prize and the Defiance Award

On Thursday 27 October, across two floors at Defiance Gallery’s Mary Place exhibition space, fifty-two finalists in the 2022 Paddington Art Prize showed their work in the expansive field of landscape painting.

The Paddington Art Prize, now in its nineteenth year under the leadership of founder Marlene Antico OAM, was established to encourage engagement with landscape as a significant genre of contemporary painting – and as, in the organisation’s words, “a key contributor to our national ethos.” The scope of finalists’ works this year, and their grapplings with the idea and practice of painting about, of, or with the landscape on this continent is wide – and this is, perhaps, the best indicator that the prize’s aim is being achieved. 

Judges for this year’s Prize included artist and Dhungatti man Blak Douglas, Dr. Grant Stevens of UNSW Art and Design, and Senior Curator of Exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Jane Devery. 

The Paddington Art Prize itself was awarded to Emily Imeson for When the Mud Dries (Lismore), 2022, a work on earth-stained cotton created during the flooding through northern New South Wales in February of this year. Reflecting the confusion, uncertainty, and chaos of this period as well as the artist’s ongoing attachment to the region, the painting pictures processes of fracture, destruction, and repair for the land and its residents. Imeson wins $30,000 for the acquisitive Prize. 

Rosie Tarku King was announced as the winner of the $3,000 Honourable Mention award with the work My Country, 2022. Like much of Tarku King’s recent work created with Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency, the painting features striking text-based elements – particularly a repeated letter “R,” which she has begun to incorporate into her work since starting to experience memory loss – along with depictions of the jilji (sand hills), jila (living waterholes) and jumu (soakwater waterholes) that she has spent her life amongst. It was a nice touch to see this work hung on an east-facing wall looking out to Rushcutters Bay, where Tarku King’s paintings recently exhibited with Arthouse Gallery. The Honourable Mention award is sponsored by Chris Antico. 

The Highly Commended award-winner was Suzy King, whose The Web, 2022, pictures oft-overlooked details of the urban landscape with affection and good humour. King’s award of $1,000 is sponsored by artist and curator Julia Martin. A further People’s Choice Award is yet to be announced, with a $1,000 gift certificate from Theresa Sargent Fine Art Imaging as the prize. 

Each year, two unrepresented artists who enter the Prize are selected to receive the Defiance Award. As part of this Award program, winning artists are sponsored to undertake a residency program, and to exhibit works developed during their residency at Defiance Gallery in the following year. This year’s winners have been announced as Ash Leslie and Wendy McDonald, for their respective works To Manyana, 2022, and Autumn with Azolla Floating Pollack Swamp, 2022. Leslie and McDonald will be funded to attend the Nock Art Foundation Residency in Queenstown, New Zealand, and will receive $500 in art supplies from Pigment Lab to support their work while on residency, before a joint exhibition in 2023. 

The winners of the 2021 Defiance Award, Pamela Honeyfield and Joe Blundell, will exhibit at Defiance Gallery immediately following the Paddington Art Prize exhibition, in a joint show opening on Saturday 12 November. Their residency at Skye in the Hunter Region was generously sponsored by Nigel Stuart and Sally Tsoutas, and they are further supported by the Nock Art Foundation for exhibition support, and Pigment Lab for art supplies. 

The Paddington Art Prize, and the Defiance Award within it, are standout examples of private patronage in the Australian art world – not only for the money involved, but for the strategic use of these resources to support exhibition, art-making, and community building opportunities for artists. 

Paddington Art Prize
28 October – 6 November 2022
Defiance Gallery, Sydney 

Pamela Honeyfield and Joe Blundell | Defiance Award Winners 2021
12 November – 3 December 2022
Defiance Gallery, Sydney

Latest  /  Most Viewed  /  Related