Sydney based artist Debra Phillips is the recipient of the prestigious Murray Art Museum Albury National Photography Prize 2020.
Debra Phillips has been awarded a cash prize of $30,000 for her work The Good. The Just. The Beautiful.
Photographer Hayley Millar-Baker is the recipient of the John and Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship and will receive a cash prize of $5,000 for her work, A Series of Unwarranted Events, 2018.
The biennial prize has been judged by Elias Redstone, Artistic Director, PHOTO 2021.
Elias Redstone said ‘The Good. The Just. The Beautiful is incredibly compelling; its passionate about the subject matter and the role photography plays in the world today. This photographic project looks at how knowledge systems are used in the world and how they are shifting from a physical world to a digital one. This is a beautiful study of understanding how we come to control the world through measurements and how that can be visualised in a photographic project.’
Bree Pickering, Director, Murray Art Museum Albury said ‘This series exemplifies both the technical precision and conceptual depth of Debra’s practice. She is an extraordinary artist and we are thrilled to acquire these works into the MAMA collection.’
Debra Phillips is an artist who works primarily in photography. Phillips is interested in charting knowledge systems and instances of natural and man-made patterns of order.
The Good. The Just. The Beautiful.was instigated during a visit to the National Metrology Institute of Germany to observe the processes of manufacturing a perfect silicon sphere, as part of the international Avogadro Project.
The Avogadro Project aims to determine a new standard definition for the kilogram based on data instead of on a physical object. The objects in these works are associated with the production of the perfect silicon sphere; silicon offset from the production process, a glass ring used in the polishing process and a digital 3D printed model produced to calculate sphere diameter topographies. Each element focuses our attention to moments when knowledge systems, including measurement, collide with material objects, presenting us with new ways of conceiving the world.
The selection panel for this year’s Prize included Isobel Parker Philip, Senior Curator Contemporary Australian Art at Art Gallery of NSW, Michael Moran MAMA Curator, and Amanda Williams, recipient of the National Photography Prize 2018.
Bringing together the best photographic practice from across Australia, all 12 finalists’ work has been exhibited physically at MAMA since 21 February and online during the pandemic closure. The exhibition dates have been extended to Sunday 14 June, with MAMA reopening on Monday 1 June 2020.
The finalists included: Anthea Behm, Danica Chappell, Elise Harmsen, Ali McCann, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Sarah Mosca, Phuong Ngo, Lillian O’Neil, Emma Phillips, Debra Phillips, and Justine Varga.
The National Photography Prize is a biennial prize supported by the MAMA Art Foundation with a $30,000 first prize. As the oldest acquisitive photography prize in Australia, it has been instrumental in building MAMA’s strong photography collection.
Murray Art Museum Albury National Photography Prize 2020is proudly supported by the MAMA Art Foundation.
Murray Art Museum Albury National Photography Prize 2020is open until Sunday 14 June.
The National Photography Prize programs and events have been postponed, due to the current public health crisis.
The Prize announcement, artist talks, and the MAMA Art Foundation ART GALA 2020 fundraising dinner have all been postponed until further notice. PHOTO2020 festival has been postponed until 10 – 29 September. The museum will attempt to align their programs with the festival, however, that may not be possible.
Foundation members were able to preview the outstanding work of the 12 finalists in this year’s National Photography Prize, on the eve of the exhibition opening.
This year’s exhibition features a series of key recent works from each of the 12 finalists: Anthea Behm, Danica Chappell, Elise Harmsen, Ali McCann, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Sarah Mosca, Phuong Ngo, Lillian O’Neil, Emma Phillips, Debra Phillips and Justine Varga.
Special guest artists Elise Harmsen and Phuong Ngo gave personal insight into their work, as part of an exhibition tour with MAMA Curator Michael Moran.
One artist from among the finalists will be awarded the $30,000 acquisitive first prize, and one emerging artist will be awarded the $5000 John & Margaret Baker Memorial Fellowship at a special event on 2 May. The guest judge for 2020 is Elias Redstone, Artistic Director of PHOTO 2020.
Members of the Art Foundation enjoyed an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the Collection Store with MAMA Curator Michael Moran. As well as enjoying some festive drinks and canapes, members were able to see newly acquired works, including ‘Recent Writings’ by Mitch Cairns, above. Rarely seen artworks were pulled out from storage, as well as works that required critical care. Everyone enjoyed getting to know a little more about the kind of long term maintenance that needs to be considered when bringing an artwork into the collection, and potential challenges that the MAMA Collection will face in years to come.
A generous anonymous benefactor recently gifted 121 twentieth century and contemporary Australian photographs to the museum, through the Commonwealth government’s Cultural Gifts Program.
The works collectively represent an overview of photographic trends and movements in Australia over the last 70 years, having been produced by artists including Peter Dombrovskis, Trent Parke, Lewis Morley, Rose Parkin and George Farrell, and Ingeborg Tyssen. This gift significantly advances the museum’s holding of Australian photography.
On the eve of the official opening, members of the MAMA Art Foundation were invited to preview MAMA’s new major exhibition, Certain realities. A number of exhibiting artists were present for the occasion, and members were treated into personal insights into the works by the artists and curator Michael Moran.
Two works from Certain realities were purchased for the MAMA Collection. Anna Kristensen’s hyper-real painting, Desert Window (above), and Archie Moore’s collection of provocative t-shirts Shirtfront.