Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery has unveiled its shortlist of finalists from a record number of entries by artists across Australia, all vying for the $30,000 prize, Still: National Still Life Award 2021.
Attracting artworks in the genre of still life, this year’s Still: National Still Life Award, has set a new standard in the diversity of mediums, subject matter and still life expressions.
Over 1000 entries were received for the biennial award, a massive 40% increase over the previous Still in 2019. This didn’t make the selection panel’s job easy according to Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery’s Catherine Fogarty.
“It was a tough job to narrow down to the 59 finalists, as there was so much great work from every state and territory, with artists at varying stages of their careers.” said Ms Fogarty.
“The ever increasing number of entries to this award demonstrates the still life genre resonates with contemporary artists regardless of what medium they work in.”
The panel also featured avid art collector Lisa Paulsen and Katina Davidson, Curator Indigenous Australian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art. Ms Davidson said she was energised to see such diverse practices across the entries which was reflected in the final selection.
“Still life can represent so much more than just objects and extends from notions of life and death through to contemporary existence and existential crisis,” said Ms Davidson.
“An impressive level of innovation was applied to traditional still life materials, including using things like floristry foam (oasis), digital coding and even everyday plastics. This was complimented by stunning oil paintings and lush photographs that will no doubt be familiar to visitors when considering still life.”
The judge for the ultimate $30,000 prize is Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. Ms Macgregor will announce the winner on August 14, while visitors to the exhibition of finalists, can vote on the $5,000 People’s Choice Award.
Still: National Still Life Award 2021 opens 14 August to 23 October at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery as part of their 20th Anniversary Program.
The 2021 finalists are: Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer, Jordan Azcune, Julie Bartholomew, Samuel Beattie, Catherine Bell, Peter Berner, Yannick Blattner, Sophie Bottomley, Kristin Burgham, Steve Bush, Penelope Campbell, Jacob Canet-Gibson, Regi Cherini, Michael Cook, Grace Cram, Mitchell Donaldson, Kate Dorrough, Blak Douglas, Katherine Edney, Ernabella Arts, Sebastian Galloway, Susan Gourley, Libby Haines, Charlotte Haywood, Emma Hodges, Harley Ives, Susan Jacobsen, Josh Carl Juett, Violetta Lanza, Chris Leaver, Donna Marcus, Kiata Mason, Noel McKenna, Nikky Morgan-Smith, the incrEdible Museum, Michelle Neal, Pamela Pauline, Sarah Randall, Genevieve Felix Reynolds, Rose Rigley, Avan Robins, Brian Robinson, Lucy Roleff, Yul Scarf, Daniel Sherington, Ken Smith, Kylie Spear with Thomas Kidd, Dannielle Thorman, John Van Der Kolk, Oksana Waterfall, Gerry Wedd, Greg Weight, Polly Wells, Cleo Wilkinson, Elizabeth Willing, Andrea Wilson, Chris Wilson, Kat Wood, Peggy Zephyr.
Still: National Still Life Award 2021 is sponsored by saso.creative and Bryant McKinnon Lawyers, with supporting sponsors, Moving Art, Andrew Peace Wines and Friends of Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery.
Image – Susan Gourley Half Eaten Banana 2021 Image credit: Bridie Gillman