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THE 65TH BLAKE PRIZE

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC), host of The Blake Prize, has announced the finalists for The 65th Blake Prize. One of Australia’s longest standing and most prestigious prizes which encourages conversation about spirituality and religion through art.The Blake Prize is widely respected for attracting artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and ages. Finalists range from leading contemporary practitioners to emerging and self-taught artists. This year there were 769 entries from artists hailing from Belgium, Germany, Greece, Norway, United States and United Kingdom and from every Australian state and territory. 80 finalists have been selected for final judging and exhibition from 12 May – 1 July at CPAC.From these finalists the winner of the $35,000 Blake Prize will be announced at the exhibition launch on 19 May 6-9pm.In addition CPAC will also offer The Emerging Artist Award, an acquisitive prize of $6,000 and the Blake Residency program, a one-month residency at CPAC and a solo exhibition.


Finalists of The 65th Blake Prize

Belinda Allen | Uri Auerbach | Maree Azzopardi | Tiyan Baker | Hayley Millar Baker | Karen Bloomfield | Jules Boag | Lisa Bowen | Daniel Butterworth | Louis Cagalj | Laura Carthew | Thomas C. Chung | Tracey Clement | Matthew Couper | Adam Cusack | Sam Doctor | Nyinta Donald | John A Douglas | Blak Douglas | Mikala Dwyer | Yvonne East | Jackson Farley | Madeline Fountain | Ben Fuog | Donna Gough | Craig Green | Tim Gregory | Amala Groom | Patrick Hall | Sue Healey | Doug Heslop | Hobart Hughes | Sean Hutton | Mehwish Iqbal | Anna Jacobson | Leah Jeffries | Rus Kitchin | Alex Latham | Rosalind Lemoh | Leon Lester | Pamela Leung | Wade Marynowksy | Martin George and Raphaella Mazzone | Teena McCarthy | Chi Chi Menendez | Chris O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa | Nasim Nasr | Alexandra Nemaric | Catherine ODonnell | Becc Ország | Philjames | Rodney Pople | Deborah Prior | Rebekah Pryor | Clache Raong | Leslie Rice | Tobias Richardson | Dasha Riley | Khaled Sabsabi | Jeramie Scahill | Greg Semu | Aemmon Sheehan | Gary Smith | Shane Smithers | Paul Snell | Tina Havelock Stevens | Jacqui Stockdale | Zara Sullivan | Linda Syddick | Cyrus Tang | Jonathan Rose and Annette Thas | Floria Tosca | Mark Tweedie | Brenda Walsh | Greg Warburton | Lachlan Warner | Vanessa White | Sarah Woodward | Kayo Yokoyama


Judges of The 65th Blake Prize

Rev Dr Rod Pattenden is an art historian and theologian interested in spirituality and visual culture. He has written widely about spirituality in Australian art and has for many years been associated with the Blake Prize as the former Chair of the Blake Society.

Nicole Barakat is an artist who works to unpick the borders of art and life, approaching making as a form of meditation, with intentions to transform the conditions of everyday life. Barakat has worked as an educator in the arts for over fifteen years, including lecturing in fine arts at UNSWAD from 2003 – 2011. She currently works as an artist educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Art Gallery of NSW.  Nicole’s practice also includes extensive collaborative community-engagement where she sees respect and equality as the leading principles that drive an exchange of experience, knowledge and skills. Nicole has a passion for the potential of imagination and art to create social change.

Marion Borgelt has exhibited extensively in national and international survey exhibitions and is one of Australia’s most evocative and enduring contemporary artists. Her work is represented in all major Australian museums and numerous regional, university and corporate collections throughout Australia and overseas. In her practice she is drawn to the fundamental shapes of the circle, the crescent, the sphere, the spiral, the oval and the grid. Diverse as her practice is, there is a common thread in her work—the interplay of polarities—the organic and the man-made, light and shade, the conceptual and the sensual, the cosmic and the primordial, the micro-cosmic and macrocosmic. Her dynamic is derived from the shifting balance of dualities. (Photograph by Jessica Maurer)

Dominik Mersch is the founder and owner of the Dominik Mersch Gallery in Darlinghurst, which exhibits significant artists from both Europe and Australia.


About The Blake Prize

Since 2016 Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) has conducted The Blake Prize as a bi-annual event, ensuring the future of this landmark prize. CPAC will maintain the guiding principles of The Blake Prize, continuing to engage contemporary artists, both nationally and internationally, in conversations concerning faith, spirituality, religion, hope, humanity, social justice, belief and non – belief. The Blake Prize presents an aesthetic means of exploring the wider experience of spirituality and all this may entail through the visionary imagining of contemporary artists.

The Blake Prize takes its name from William Blake, an artist of undoubted genius, who succeeded in integrating the religious and artistic in his work. The prize aims to encourage contemporary artists of varied styles, religious and spiritual allegiances to create significant works of art which engage in conversations and negotiations concerning spirituality and religion.

CPAC is committed to local, national and global communities, artists and audiences. It is located in Liverpool, an area in which communities from over 150 birthplaces, speaking over 140 languages with an equally diverse range of religious backgrounds, call home. This vibrant site is reflected in the centre as stories, ideas, art forms and philosophies fuse to celebrate cultural diversity. Furthermore, CPAC is committed to evolving the creative industries of South West Sydney as it supports emerging and established artists from numerous disciplines to create work which reflects its diverse community.

Three prizes are selected by the judges for the best contemporary art work that addresses the religious or spiritual. The Blake Prize is a non-acquisitive prize of $35,000, The Blake Emerging Artist Prize is an acquisitive prize of $6,000 and The Blake Established Artist Residency consisting of a residency and solo exhibition hosted by CPAC. All prizes are strictly non-sectarian. Entries are not restricted to works related to any faith or artistic style. All artworks entered must have a recognisable exploration of faith, spirituality, religion, hope, humanity, social justice, belief and/or non-belief.


Key dates

Artworks Delivered: 9 – 24 April 2018
Exhibition Dates: 12 May – 1 July 2018
Launch: 19 May 6 – 9pm 2018
Collection of Artworks: 9 – 18 July 2018


Image credits: Cyrus Tang, Lacrimae Rerum, 2016. | Jules Boag, The Space Between, 2016. | Laura Carthew, Immortal flower, 2016. | Madeline Fountain, The Heart of the Sun, 2017. | Rosalind Lemoh, Skin and Bone, 2016. (photograph courtesy of Damien Greary) | Sue Healey, State of Grace, 2017. | Tobias Richardson, Charred Carcass, 2017. | Sam Doctor, The wanderer and the Mist, 2018. | Greg Semu, Dead Body of Christ in Two Parts (diptych), 2018. | Tracey Clement, Metropolis Experiment, 2017.

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