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13 Feb 2016 - 24 Apr 2016 | 10am - 5pm

From 2016 The Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre will deliver The Blake Prize as a biennial event into the future. Casula Powerhouse will maintain the guiding principles of The Blake Prize in continuing to engage contemporary artists, both national and international, in conversations concerning faith, spirituality, religion, hope, humanity, social justice, belief and non-belief.  The Blake Prize is an aesthetic means of exploring the wider experience of spirituality and all this may entail with the visionary imagining of contemporary artists.

The Blake Prize takes its name from William Blake, as an artist of undoubted genius, seemed to belong to no school and succeeded in integrating religious and artistic content in his work. The Prize aims to encourage contemporary artists of disparate styles, religious and spiritual allegiances to create significant works of art which engage in relevant conversations and negotiations.

The 64th Blake Prize has three prize categories that challenge artists to investigate ideas, issues and engage audiences in conversations surrounding spiritual thought and religion in contemporary art. All the Blake Prize’s are strictly non-sectarian. The entries are not restricted to works related to any faith or any artistic style, but any work entered must have a recognisable religious or spiritual integrity.

To download the Directors Cut click here

To download the Education Kit click here

The Blake Prize | $35,000 | non-acquisitive WINNER
Yardena Kurulkar, Kenosis

Kurulkar, Kenosis, 2015 

The Blake Emerging Artist | $6,000 | acquisitive WINNER
Damien Shen, On the fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body

On the fabric of the Ngarrindjeri Body, DAMIEN SHEN

The Blake Established Artist Residency WINNER 
Robert Hague, The Messenger


The Judges

Leanne Tobin
Leanne Tobin
is descended from the Boorooberongal and Wumali clan of the Darug, the traditional Aboriginal people of Greater Western Sydney region.

Leanne possesses a strong sense of commitment and responsibility to the place of her ancestors and is driven to use her art to tell local stories of the Darug people and place and to evoke an environmental conscience and respect towards the land and its original people.

Leanne pays homage to her Aboriginal, English (convict) and Irish ancestry by the use of contemporary painting techniques and traditional methods such as the incorporation of ochres from country to further explore ways of conveying the silent stories of long ago.

Her work seeks to connect the observer with the land they stand on, highlighting their shared role in caring for country while also conveying the intrinsic spiritual connection Aboriginal people have with the land; a connection that is often hidden behind the concrete and tar of the city and suburbs.

Amanda Lawson 

Amanda Lawson has had a long career in the arts, including appointments at the Australia Council and Bathurst City Council. She was chair of ArtsNSW Visual Arts / Craft Committee from 2004 to 2007 and a trustee of the Australian Museum from 2009 to 2012. She became the inaugural head of the School of Art and Design at the University of Wollongong in 2004 and dean of Creative Arts in 2008. Since 2012 Amanda has been Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law, Humanities and the Arts and she is also director of the University of Wollongong Art Collection. 

Tim Costello

Tim Costello is one of Australia's most sought after voices on issues of social justice, leadership and ethics. Since 2004 Tim has been CEO of World Vision, Australia's largest international development agency. Trained in economics, law, education and theology, Tim has practised law, served as a Baptist minister, and has been active in church and community leadership, local government and naitonal affairs.

The 64th Blake Prize Finalists

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Frederico Ozanam Agostino Camara, Cigdem Aydemir, Vilma Barder, Teresa Baker, Julie Bartholomew, Zanny Begg, Adnan Begic, Liam Benson, Drew Bickford, Tom Blake, Nicole Breedon, David Asher Brook, David Brophy, Michael Cardacino, Angela Casey, Omar Chowdhury, Valerio Ciccone, Roderick Collie, Simon Cooper, Dale Cox, Darron Davies, Keg de Souza, Tamara Dean, Lada Dedic, Shoufay Derz, Dongwang Fan, Emma Fielden, Tina Fiveash, David Frank, Katherine Fries, Robert Hague, Megan Hales, Corey Thomas & Roger Mitchell, Mehwish Iqbal, Matthew James, Shannon Johnson, Fassih Keiso, Madeleine Kelly, Yardena Kurulkar, Tom Lawford, Anita Larkin, Blaide Lallemand and Hilary Cuerden-Clifford, Sonia Leber & David Chesworth, Tania Maria Mastroianni, Ian Mcleod, Matthew McVeigh, Reg Mombassa, Celia Morgan, Glenn Morgan, Bill Moseley & Joanna Logue, Nasim Nasr, Claudia Nicholson, Katy B Plummer, Chui Yee Po, Madeleine Preston, Marlaina Read, Mark Rodda, Margarita Sampson, Georgia Saxelby, Pamela See, Helen Shelley, Damien Shen, Sam Shmith, Sally Simpson, Sarah Spackman, Catriona Stanton & Anne Ooms, Michael Strum, Abdullah M I Syed, Jasmine Symons, Angela Tiatia, Annette Thas, Paul Trefry, Linda Wachtel, Brenda Walsh, Deborah White, Zan Wimberley, Katy Woodroffe and Vera Zulumovski.

The Directors Cut

Tarik Ahlip, Uri Auerbach, David Asher Brook, Hayley Megan French, Hyun-Hee Lee, Monica Levy, Janet Long, Fayroze Lutta, Marea Reed, Mark Tweedie, Barbara Doran, Sioma Wajchman, Grahame Wilson, Zan Wimberley, Kathy Allam, Emma Anna, Annie Hsiao-Wen Wang, Baby Guerrilla, Adam Laerkesen, Nick Morris, Laurissa Onato, Kate Richards, Maree Azzopardi, Sally Blake, Mertim Gokalp (two entries), Maki Horanai, Meredith Hughes (two entries), Pollyxenia Joannou, Margarita Sampson, Abdul Abdullah, Annette Allman, Bernard Appassamy, Sue Bessell, Katherine Beynon, Sam Deakins, James Dean, Michele Elliot, Robert Fielding, Kylie Goldthorpe, Lizzie Hall, Geoff Harvey, Jan Howlin, Alan Jones, Russell Joyce, Aleta Lederwasch, Belem Lett, Lawrence Dawson & Francois Limondin, Christian Bently Lock, Tom Loveday, Susan Macrae, Daniel Maule, Harry Nankin, Flossie Peitsch, Andy Plummer, Katy B Plummer, Marion Richards, Adam Stone, Craig Phillip Waddell, Halina Wolski, Drew Bickford, Michael Cardacino, Roderick Collie, Nancy Constandelia, Shoufay Derz, Robert Gale & Jessie DiBlasi (two entries), Sylvia Griffin, Tim Laffey, Richard Lee (two entries), Eva Schultz, Sara Sohrabian, Anne Wallace, Karin van Roosmalen, Zoe Scoglio, George Shaw, Amanda Jane Reynolds, Emmet O'Dwyer, Andrew Netherwood, Angela Iliadis, Linda Gibbs, Warren Armstrong & Susannah Williams, Carla & Lisa Wherby, Caroline Rannersberger, Mikhael Setken, Sandra Kiris, Katharine Buljan, Miho Watanabe, Eduardo Wolfe-Alegria, Julia Thwaites, Susan Hawkins, Suzanne Donisthorpe and Frank Veldze, Ann Arora, Nasim Nasr, Ella Condon, Emad Dhahir, and Melissa Coote, Lynn Mowson and Peter Butterworth.

The Blake Prize Events Program

As part of The 64th Blake Prize, Casula Powerhouse has organised a series of public programs that stimulates an interesting dialogue between religion and art and its manifestations within Australia. 

The human body has been a recurring subject of exploration within The Blake Prize. In this series of workshops, Blake Body will connect your mind, body and spirits. A selection of which includes:
- Meditation Station
- Bollywood Dancing 
- Tai Chi
- Yoga into Art

Is a series of after dark programs that incorporate film and music which allow you to contempalte and access the stillness of Casula Powerhouse.

Will incorporate a variety of culinary workshops drawing on different faiths, cultures and religions. Cooking demonstrations an dfood workshops will include spirituality as an essential ingredient. Blake Food will allow you to discuss faith, spirituality adn art over food with friends and visitors.  |

Panel discussions, seminars an dincludive tours will be the focus of Blake Talk, an all-encompassing source to express your opinion and become involved in debate. Become inspired, become  involved, Blake Talk allows you to listen, discuss and exchange ideas withtin a stimulating visual forum.

The Blake Prize Education Program for Schools

Public Programs and Education at Casula Powerhouse have developed an extensive program of engagement for both primary and Secondary schools during the 64th Blake Prize exhibition during Feb- April 2016. The Blake Prize engages artists, both national and international, in visual conversations concerning faith, spirituality, religion, humanity, social justice, belief, and non-belief.  It facilitates exploring the wider experience of spirituality within contemporary artists.  Through a series of creative partnerships, these education programs will allow students to examine these themes through the extended focus of poetry, literature, and drama.

PRIMARY | Wednesday 6 April
SECONDARY | Thursday 7 April

2 x sessions each day
10.00am – 12pm | 12.30-2.30pm
$10 per student

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is partnering once more with The Red Room Company to present Art and Poetry. A new collaboration between The Red Room Company and Casula Powerhouse that invites students and their teachers to respond directly to the artwork exhibited in The Blake Prize.

 Art and Poetry workshops will be facilitated by Lilly Blue a Sydney based artist and visual poet, providing an opportunity for participants to engage more deeply with the imagery and conceptual underpinnings of The Blake Prize, and compose original poetry in direct response to the artworks.

An exhibition of selected sketches, workshop photographs and poems will be exhibited on The Red Room Company website: http://redroomcompany.org/projects/poetry-object/ Spaces are limited so book early!

PRIMARY | Thursday 25 February
SECONDARY | Friday 26 February

2 x sessions each day
10.00am – 12pm | 12.30-2.30pm
$10 per student

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is proud to be partnering with West Words to present Art and Writing. Taking students on an exploration of the 2016 Blake Prize artworks, Iranian-born writer and playwright Maryam Master will lead a creative writing workshop that will help develop writing skills that engage with and respond to the Blake Prize exhibition, its content and meaning. The Blake Prize creative writing workshop will take students through the process of developing a creative written piece that effectively taps into themes of spirituality, religion and human justice while considering the roles of emotion, contemporary society and attitudes through the springboard of art.

Maryam Master has almost 20 years’ experience writing for young audiences. Her new play, the adaptation of David Walliams’ best-selling children’s novel Mr Stink will premiere at the Sydney Opera House in April 2016. She also wrote the stage adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ book The Incredible Book Eating Boy which premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2014 then went on to tour nationally and internationally.

Maryam is the Iranian-born daughter of parents who were forced to flee Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1982 because of religious persecution.  Maryam has taught Baha’i spiritual education at Taverners Hill Infant School, Bronte Public School and Ashfield Public School Middle Harbour Primary School and is currently at Petersham Public School. She started teaching in 1999.

PRIMARY | Wednesday 16 March 
SECONDARY | Wednesday 30 March

1 x session each day
10.00am – 12pm | 12.30-2.30pm
$15 per student

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre is excited to be presenting a new collaborative program with Bell Shakespeare. These joint Art and Drama workshops will focus on specific works from The Blake Prize and provide both primary and secondary students with the opportunity to engage in inventive prop and costumes making prior to their use in drama workshop with Bell Shakespeare facilitators. Students will learn how to respond to visual artworks through Shakespeare, examine the intersection and develop appropriate language skills.

Event Information

LocationTurbine Gallery
Marsden Gallery
Switch Gallery
Hopper Gallery
Kids Gallery

AgesAll ages


Phone02 9824 1121


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