13 September 2011

Twenty-six of Australia’s most daring contemporary artists will vie for the 2011 University of Queensland National Artists’ Self-Portrait Prize, which will be announced next Friday, September 23.

The $50,000 acquisitive prize is offered every two years, with Ben Quilty taking out inaugural honours in 2007 and Julie Rrap recognised for her video entry in 2009.

Risk is the theme for this year’s prize, which will be judged by Rhana Devenport, Director of the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, New Plymouth, Aotearoa New Zealand.

“Today’s generation celebrates risk, whether in extreme sport or social media,” UQ Art Museum Director Dr Campbell Gray said.

“In keeping with this year’s theme, the artists have stretched the idea of the self-portrait, with works executed across painting, sculpture, ceramics, sculpture and installation, even including petit point and drawing in Biro.

National Artists' Self-Portrait Prize 2011 from The University of Queensland on Vimeo.

“This year’s prize not only promotes self-portraiture as an art form, but also allows artists to be open to the contemporary moment.”

Curator Alison Kubler said art, like life, is a risky business – both for the artist and their audience.

“The artist risks their work being reviled, celebrated or, in the worst case scenario, ignored,” Ms Kubler said.

“The 2011 Self-Portrait Prize invites artists to take a risk; a risk that the work may not be revered, but instead may provoke.”

The works from across Australia include two collaborative pieces by partners Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, and James and Eleanor Avery.

Fellow entrants span different generations and include Eric Bridgeman, Dadang Christanto, Daniel Crooks, Louise Hearman, Narelle Jubelin, Noel McKenna, Raquel Ormella, Joan Ross and Grant Stevens.

Also featured is South Australian artist, John Barbour, who sadly passed away in April after completing his entry for the prize.

Judge Ms Devenport is well known in Brisbane for her work as co-curator and senior project officer with the Asia-Pacific Triennial at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art (1994–2004).

The prize complements the University’s National Collection of Artists’ Self-Portraits, which features historical and contemporary works including those from by Rupert Bunny, Jeffrey Smart and Tracey Moffatt.

The 2011 prize will be on display at UQ Art Museum, St Lucia, from September 24 until February 12, 2012. Admission is free.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS: Saturday, September 24

10.30 am–11.30 am:
Alison Kubler in conversation with the judge Rhana Devenport

11.30 am–12.30 pm:
Artist talks by Louise Hearman, Nicholas Folland, Raquel Ormella and David Ray

Media: Dr Campbell Gray (07 3365 7952, campbell.gray@uq.edu.au) or Michele Helmrich (07 3346 8759, m.helmrich@uq.edu.au) at the UQ Art Museum, or Jan King at UQ Communications (07 3365 1120, j.king@uq.edu.au)

**High-resolution images are available for download here


Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, James and Eleanor Avery, John Barbour, Polly Borland, Daniel Boyd, Eric Bridgeman, Dadang Christanto, Daniel Crooks, Domenico de Clario Michael Doolan, Cherine Fahd, Nicholas Folland, Louise Hearman, Narelle Jubelin, Laith McGregor, Noel McKenna, Tim McMonagle, Kate Murphy, Raquel Ormella, David Ray, Joan Ross, Tony Schwensen, Rebecca Smith and Grant Stevens