Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize on at Newcastle Art Space.
And it’s that time of the year again! The Newcastle Emerging Artist Prize is a cherished phenomenon where new names are introduced into the vast spectrum of talented individuals already vying for recognition and respect. Emerging, submerging, floating; it’s a whirlwind of a ride that art life and one that ultimately rewards the persistent. Unfortunately this year I didn’t get to see the exhibition until after the prizes had been announced. But alas I was happy to see Ellie Kauffman had won the painting prize with a bit of ribald suburbia taunting the viewers. And it’s since been interesting to further investigate the crotchet of Louisa Magrics who was the overall winner. Her youtube videos show the work in progress and are rather enjoyable to watch.
But back to what I like about the prize and that is discovering some great art. One of the stand outs for me this year is a painting by Taliah Darcy –Shaw. This large scale depiction of two women is not about the composition and all about the painting technique. There are certainly some flaws in the work as the woman reclining appears to be floating and she also seems out of scale. Perhaps this is deliberate. Regardless of this though there’s a mature painting technique happening specifically around the stool legs that demonstrates a capability with the brush.
I also was drawn to the beauty of “Blossom” by artist Lynda Gibbins. This large scale sculpted flower is menacing and triffidlike but surely masterful. Liss Finney’s moody painting likewise stands out. Tanya Matas again shows that needle and thread can produce superb line drawings.There are familiar names in the exhibition such as Damien Slevin, Sharon Williams, Dylan Smith, Leslie Duffin and Kelly Barlin who already demonstrate a developed art practice without having officially emerged.
There’s a mystery about these art prizes, hopefully one that won’t deter. And there’s always next year for those that persist. NEAP is currently on at Newcastle Art Space until Sunday 27th September.