March 29, 2021

Footscray Art Prize 2021 Winners Announced

A hand-engraved core sample titled ‘And this, too, shall pass’ has been awarded the $10,000 Footscray Art Prize 2021.

Northern Territory based artist Lee Harrop was celebrated by over 200 attendees at the exhibition’s opening for her sculptural work that interrogates the mining industry.

The winning work was selected from 39 shortlisted artworks by a judging panel made up of NGV’s Myles Russell-Cook, VCA’s Vikki McInnes, and freelance curator Kirsty Grant. The judges initially reviewed over 830 entries, a record number for the third iteration of the Prize.

A new mural will soon be installed on the Footscray Community Arts precinct thanks to the $5,000 Street Art Prize, which was awarded to Macedon resident Emma Coulter. Her mural, to be installed in the next few weeks, will attempt to create a ‘window’ between the community and Footscray Community. The judges selected this work for the potential it has to instantly engage visitors to the area, “drawing them in with the strength of its design, the way it plays with perception, as well as it’s joyful colour”.

Two artists – Ahmad Sabra and Scotty So – will also take up RESIDENCE at Footscray Community Arts as part of the new Emerging Artist Category.

Local artists Rosie Kalina and Dawn Tan selected the winners of the Young Artists Prize categories from over 160 artworks, which are currently displayed at Victoria University’s MetroWest art space.

More about Footscray Art Prize 

The Footscray Art Prize is a vital biennial event for the local creative community, bolstering the reputation of Melbourne’s western suburbs as a thriving hub for artistic and cultural vibrancy.

“What a joy it was to see the breadth and depth of entries into this year’s Footscray Art Prize, and what a shame we couldn’t include every single one in the exhibition. Heartfelt thanks to all of the artists for holding their nerve during these most challenging of times, and hearty congratulations to all the finalists — it’s going to be quite a show!” said Vikki McInnes. 

Mediums range from geographical core samples and a hologram device to delicate ceramic porcelain, with recurring themes of isolation and relationships to reflect the events of 2020.

“The entries provided a fascinating glimpse into contemporary creative practice around the country, both in terms of trends in the material means artists are working with, and the issues that are most relevant,” said Kirsty Grant.

The emerging and established artists featured include: Megan Evans, who has made the shortlist for a second year in a row with an intricately beaded piece; Layla Vardo who will show David Attenborough in a new light through her video; and David Cox, an artist from the Warmun Art Centre who reimagines ways of communicating his Dreaming stories.

“Following lockdown, and a year when many artists were forced to adapt their practice to work in new ways and often under extreme circumstances, each of the entries is a testament to the power of all artists creativity during difficult times,” said Myles Russell-Cook. 

Footscray Art Prize Shortlist

Ahmad Sabra

Amala Groom & Saha Jones
this is a sign

Anna Kiparis 
Midnight Mass

Carolyn Craig
Proximal Noise: Principles and actions against Anoxia

Cassandra Downs
Bilby Vessel

Cassandra Tytler

Chelle Destefano
Audist College

Ches Mills 

Chloe Lee
Dat Thanh Bakery sign

Darcey Bella Arnold
errored inclusion

David Cox
Two Sisters

Fassih Keiso  
Consolidation: Youth in the Age of War and COVID-19

Georgia Banks
She’s Beauty, She’s Grace

James Hale
25 Special

Jenna Corcoran

Jenna Lee
dis/bound re/bound

Jessie Deane
Needlepoint Night Docks

Johny Salama

Kent Morris
Barkindji Blue Sky – Ancestral Connections #4

Kurt Medenbach

Laura Woodward
And the Sun was filled with Salt

Layla Vardo
Orders of Magnitude

Lee Harrop
And this, too, shall pass

Linda Sok
Salt Water Deluge

Mark Forbes

Megan Evans
Mother Country

Naomi Nicholls
Gradient Cutting #1

Nicholas Burridge
Fluid Rock

Patrick Snelling
My Footscray

Paul Briggs
Enter the Dragon/Footscray

Peter Burke 
Take lasagne out of fridge

Phu La
Neville meets Devil

Riana Head-Toussaint
First Language

Rozalind Drummond
Field Studies

Ryan Andrew Lee
Wonnarua, 2019

Scotty So
As She…

Simon Clark
Gaskin Gardens

Stephen Palmer & Nina Ross 
Union Banner

Tim Van
Featherweight Cannon

Street Artists

Emma Coulter
Spatial deconstruction #25 (perceptual vortex)

Hayden Dewar
I can hear a ringtail possum

Jaime Powell

Young Artists

All young artist entries are displayed in the exhibition.

Image 1: Winners, partners and sponsor of Footscray Art Prize 2021. Image by Jacinta Keefe.
Image 2: Pictured artworks (L-R): ‘Fluid Rock’ by Nicholas Burridge, 2021,  ‘Emptiness’ by Mark Forbes, 2019, ‘I WLD WLK’ by Jenna Corcoran, 2020, ‘Proximal Noise: Principles and actions against Anoxia’ by Carolyn Craig, 2020. Image by Jacinta Keefe