Thirty top Australian artists selected for UQ self-portrait prize

Thirty Australian artists will put their best selves forward in the University of Queensland’s biennial 2015 National Artist’s Self-Portrait Prize.

The selected artists will compete for a $50,000 prize and will create their portrait in response to the theme ‘becoming.’

UQ Arts
UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said the National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize was highly anticipated.

The competition will be curated by former Deputy Director of the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra Michael Desmond, who said that ‘becoming’ was an interesting challenge for self-portraiture.

“In modern life our focus is constantly drawn to the future, but the self-portrait tends to preserve the present—a moment in time—seconds in the case of photography,” he said.

“For artists, linking the idea of ‘becoming’ with the process of self-portraiture can help summarise visually their own movement, change, aging and development, which can often be difficult to capture otherwise.”

The 2015 prize will be judged by Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA)’s Curatorial Manager of Australian Art, Jason Smith.

UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said the National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize was highly anticipated.

“We’re grateful to have colleagues of the calibre of Michael Desmond and Jason Smith involved,” Dr Gray said.

“The exhibition, which opens at the UQ Art Museum in November, will provide an outstanding opportunity to see diverse and innovative interpretations of the self-portrait by high-profile Australian artists and many exciting newcomers.”

The UQ Art Collection is one of Queensland’s most significant public art collections and, since 2004, the self-portrait has become an important focus area for both collection development and exhibitions.

Artists invited to participate in the 2015 UQ National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize include Khadim Ali, eX de Medici, Julia deVille, Fiona Foley, Julie Gough, Guan Wei, Marie Hagerty, Nicholas Harding, Patricia Piccinini, Andrew Sayers, Tyza Stewart, Christian Thompson, Philip Wolfhagen, and Judith Wright, among others.

The winner of the 2015 National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize will be announced on Friday 13 November at the official opening of the exhibition, which runs from 14 November until 13 March 2016.

Previous winners of the Prize include Ben Quilty, Julie Rrap, Domenico de Clario and Nell.


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