Peebles Print Prize

This August and September, despite lockdowns throughout the region, Queenscliff Gallery presents the third biennial Peebles Print Prize, designed to nurture the practice of intaglio printmaking in Australia. Artist Profile warmly congratulates, especially, first prize winner Geoffrey Ricardo and second prize winner Bron Ives, whose works engage playfully and tenderly with ideas of the 'natural' world.

Now in its third iteration, the Peebles Print Prize was established by Queenscliff Gallery with Graeme Peebles, a Queenscliff local and exhibiting artist with the gallery. The award seeks to recognise technical and conceptual excellence, and innovation, across the broad field of intaglio printmaking, in a gesture to Peebles’s longstanding work in mezzotint printing. Having studied and lectured at RMIT, Peebles’s four-decade exploration of mezzotint printing has focussed on deepening knowledge and practice the historical technical tradition of the method. 

Coinciding with the Geelong Gallery Acquisitive Print Award, the Prize represents Queenscliff Gallery’s contribution to nurturing a region-wide focus on printmaking at this point in the calendar – regardless of the mitigating circumstances, in this instance. Judged this year by Lisa Sullivan, Senior Curator at Geelong Gallery, and David Hurlston, Senior Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, the thirty-one selected finalists’ works appear in an exhibition, the balanced and broad-visioned curation of which informed much of the judging process. 

The winning work, Geoffrey Ricardo’s A Brief History of Nonsense, 2021, offers an upended glance into a narrative moment, the exact parameters of which remain irresolvable. A group of figures carry a dinosaur up a hill – real, or a model? Lifeless and grimacing into the sky as it is held supine, we can’t tell. Tending somehow towards the allegorical, even the prophetic, and yet somehow not quite fitting within its bounds, the work would be more unsettling if it weren’t also so joyfully colourific. Bron Ive’s Swamp Antechinus, Painkalac Creek, 2021, holds the animal quite differently: its little marsupial protagonist is perched almost translucently on the page. Listed as vulnerable in Victoria, the mouse’s deftness on the paper hints towards its delicate presence on the ground. Judges Hurlston and Sullivan extended their congratulations not only to these winners, but to each entrant and finalist.

Finalists in this year’s exhibition include Susan Baran, Terence Barrett, Victoria Bilogan, Hannah Caprice, Lana de Jager, David Fairbairn, Sarah George, Bridget Hillebrand, Julie Mia Holmes, Lizzie Horne, Bron Ives, George Kennedy, Michele Kershaw, Helen Kocis Edwards, Damon Kowarsky, Steve Lopes, Marion Manifold, Stuart Meyer-Plath, Cat Poljski, Paula Quintela, Geoffrey Ricardo, Therese Shanley, Melissa Smith, Ruth Stanton, Elmari Steyn, Kati Thamo, Andrew Totman, Hilary Warren, Cleo Wilkinson, Deborah Williams, and Aliki Yiorkas. As is tradition, the winner of the previous iteration of the prize, Joel Wolter, presents works alongside this year’s cohort. 

The Peebles Print Prize is supported by 360Q, Borough of Queenscliffe, the Streeton family, Oakdene Wines, and 44 Frame Factory.

Peebles Print Prize 2021
Until 11 October 2021
Queenscliff Gallery, Vic

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