Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize Winners Announced

Congratulations to Melbourne-based artist Gail Hastings and Sydney artist Adrian McDonald for being awarded the 2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize in the established and emerging categories respectively.

Hastings was awarded the $25,000 prize for her work colour circle: four colour scheme for a room (2018). One of the judges, Natasha Bullock (MCA Senior Curator), described the work as being “playful and inventive, distinguished by its aesthetic rigour. It is an exquisitely-made object, which questions the definition of minimalism, and the movement of everyday space.” Hastings’ practice is informed by a complex spatial investigation from the 1960s that the artist and others believe has been miscalled ‘minimalism’. Her works, which she describes as ‘sculptural situations’, or ‘sculptuations’, call our attention to a real space made active through its co-extension with an aesthetic space of objects and form, with colour and text that engage the viewers’ imagination.

Inspired by the formal language of music, McDonald’s painting Approximating a Circle (2018) took out the $10,000 emerging artist award. Appearing as a series of fine, raised lines on a raw linen surface, the work speaks of the pauses, silences and harmony found within unseen spaces. The artist sees his painting as an ongoing exploration of complex relationships between beauty, truth, freedom and the historical origins of both abstract and concrete art.  Fabian Byrne, Visual Art Teacher at Redlands School, commented: “What at first seem like regular stripes, reveal themselves as a pulsating dot-dash of rhythmic code, racing up and down the surface of the work…There are no brush strokes, there is no picture, no image. Rather, the reference is to data and mathematics and the punched holes of a pianola roll. Indeed, music is a good reference as it is the rests and spaces between musical notes and percussive beats that allow us to hear melody and to sense rhythm.”

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, the annual Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize is an acquisitive award that sets no limitations on media or subject, highlighting broad developments in contemporary art. The Prize provides a platform for an artist-selected exhibition that features established artists alongside early-career artists. This year the exhibition’s guest curator was Australian artist Nike Savvas, who nominated established artists, who in turn each choose one emerging artist to create work for the exhibition. Savvas commented: “In a cultural climate beset by hype, hits, corporatisation and swinging social agency…I deem the artists I have chosen as artists’ artists…At their core lies a resolute philosophy of mindful intent, method and focus on studio outcomes over and above other concerns. These are artists whose creative processes and enduring models for practice have not been compromised over time.”

The judges for this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize were Natasha Bullock (MCA Senior Curator), Judith Blackall (NAS Gallery Curator), Mark Harpley (Visual Arts Coordinator, Redlands School) and Fabian Byrne (Visual Arts Teacher, Redlands School).

2018 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize
15 March – 12 May 2018
National Art School Gallery, Sydney

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