Monday, July 8, 2013

2013 Yen Artist Awards at Gaffa - 8 July

Hands up who loves a random art prize?  Yep, thought so.  So do I and I was lucky enough to squeeze in a visit to Gaffa on the last day they were showing the 2013 Yen Artist Awards.  According to their website, Yen Magazine is Australia's #1 independent magazine for women.  Who knew? Their art prize is also women only, but they've gone all contiki tours and made it for 18-35s only.  You can't see this at Gaffa anymore but Yen have done a great little website with all the finalists (all the entries, as in at least a hundred appear to be online, at Gaffa there were probably only 20 works).

I had actually spent some time on the award website prior to my visit so had seen quite a few familiar works online (Leah Emery's cross stitch porno come to mind!) and probably a few that should've made the exhibit in my opinion (Sarah Sheehan's entry a great example here). Some works look much better in person than on the computer, Annie Davidson's Cactus Land was a great example. Bright, vivid colours and a little bit quirky.  The official winner was a fairly dour affair for mine, certainly when compared to works that really captured the eye like Robin Clare's Tropical Thunder (top) or Emma Coulter's Foreign Landscape (above). It was about 50/50 works for sale versus NFS, and given most of those featured were emerging the prices were more than reasonable. All in all a great show and certainly one that has given me some names to watch out for. A few I was already aware of, like Claudia Nicholson and Montana Miller but also some new ones like Robin Clare and Nicole O'Loughlin.

Points: 3 points to Robin Clare's Tropic Thunder.  Just like 10CC said, 'I don't like Jamaica, I love it'! Robin actually has a solo show right now at Black Penny in Surry Hills.  Here's a link.  I missed the opening but will be sure to go check these out over the weekend if not before, stay tuned!  2 points to Emma Coulter.  It's a little more abstract than what I usually go for but it certainly stood out in the room.  I will give the 1 point to Greedy Hen (their "we just ignore the neighbours" digital collage above). I do like their name! Great work Yen, just shout if you need a hand with the judging next year. 

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