Review/Visual Art

Tending local talent

30 October 2019

Review: The John Stringer Prize Exhibition ·
John Curtin Gallery ·
Review by Jaimi Wright ·

A city’s cultural identity, in a lot of ways, is like a garden; it must be nurtured and built from the existing bedrock. Pop-up Globe theatres will come and go, and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. But the best gardens, the cultural identities that flourish and endure, are ones that also tend to home-grown talent. The John Stringer Prize, currently showing at the John Curtin Gallery, is nurturing this kind of rich cultural identity for Perth, and the affecting works in this exhibition make for rewarding viewing.

The John Stringer Prize was created in 2015 to honour the memory of John Stringer, a past curator of The Stokes Collection and a passionate supporter of greater patronage to local artistic talent. Each year a panel of three arts professionals from the Collectors Club in Perth (one of Stringer’s enterprises) selects six Western Australian-based contemporary artists to exhibit in the Prize. Collectors Club members then choose the winner by secret ballot.

Ngamaru Bidu, ‘Nyurnma’, 2019, acryclic on canvas, 75.5 – 123cm.

The exhibited works for the 2019 Stringer Prize include an impressive and thought-provoking variety of contemporary art practices across multiple mediums, representing lived experiences from many cultural backgrounds. Photographer Rebecca Dagnall’s work explores the eeriness within nature as a psychological space. Martumilli artist Ngamaru Bidu’s artworks are a beautiful insight into Martu land and culture. Elham Eshraghian’s video piece is an emotionally resonant and hypnotic exploration of local Iranian diaspora. The artworks by Perth painter Kendall Gear are fascinating existential analyses of colloquial scenes and objects. Holly O’Meehan’s mixed media works, reminiscent of sea creatures, are both alien and intimately domestic. Finally the winning work of this year’s Prize, a kinetic installation by interdisciplinary artist Bjoern Rainer Adamson, is a brilliant inquiry into the nature of artificial intelligence.

By investing in and promoting the ingenuity, creativity and diversity of local contemporary artists, The John Stringer prize is a major contributor to the integrity of Perth’s cultural identity, a contribution that is made all the more significant in these last two years by its relocation to the public venue of the John Curtin Gallery. If the John Stringer Prize continues to support and develop local talent the way it has this year, Perth’s local cultural identity has a promising future.

Pictured top is the winning art work: Bjoern Rainer-Adamson, ‘Protozoon’, 2019, John Stringer Prize 2019 exhibition, installation view, JCG, 2019.

The Stringer Prize exhibition runs until December 8.

Like
0
Love
0
Haha
0
Wow
0
Sad
0
Grrr
0

Author —
Jaimi Wright

Jaimi Wright is your friendly neighbourhood art historian. She has just completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at UWA and dabbles in curating, local arts writing, and 19th century French history. Her favourite piece of play equipment is the roundabout even though her stomach should know better.

Past Articles

  • Tilted realities

    Joanna Lamb’s ‘Things Past’ and Jennifer Cochrane’s ‘From the Shadows’ invite the viewer into a fascinating world of abstract perspectives and hyperreality, discovers Jaimi Wright.

    Like
    2
    Love
    0
    Haha
    0
    Wow
    0
    Sad
    0
    Grrr
    0
  • A rich tapestry of life and death

    Review: Deborah Worthy-Collins, ‘Bone of my Bone, Flesh of my Flesh’ ·
    The Lobby ·
    Review by Jaimi Wright ·

    Like
    0
    Love
    0
    Haha
    0
    Wow
    0
    Sad
    0
    Grrr
    0

Read Next

  • Reading time • 6 minutesVisual Art
  • Tilted realities
    Review

    Tilted realities

    17 March 2020

    Joanna Lamb’s ‘Things Past’ and Jennifer Cochrane’s ‘From the Shadows’ invite the viewer into a fascinating world of abstract perspectives and hyperreality, discovers Jaimi Wright.

    Like
    2
    Love
    0
    Haha
    0
    Wow
    0
    Sad
    0
    Grrr
    0
    Reading time • 5 minutesVisual Art
  • A concert stage is filled with musicians and a conductor Extra frisson in final concert
    Review

    Extra frisson in final concert

    15 March 2020

    Rosalind Appleby savours every moment of WASO’s last concert for what could be quite some time, and encourages patrons to support the arts sector by refusing ticket refunds to cancelled concerts.

    Like
    0
    Love
    0
    Haha
    0
    Wow
    0
    Sad
    0
    Grrr
    0
    Reading time • 4 minutesMusic

Cleaver Street Studio

Support Seesaw

You can read our reviews for free.

But we need to pay our journalists.

Make a tax deductible donation by 31 March 2020 to support the payment of Seesaw’s outstanding arts writers.

Join the conversation

Seesaw Magazine