20 October, 2005

Victorian Indigenous Arts Awards

10 October 2005

The Minister for the Arts, Mary Delahunty, has congratulated the winners of 2005 Victorian Indigenous Arts Awards, announced this evening as part of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Ms Delahunty congratulated Lorraine ‘Bunta’ Patten, winner of 2005 Deadly Art Award and Kye McGuire, winner of the inaugural Lin Onus Award.

“These works were selected by a panel of expert judges, from a total of 110 original entries and 25 finalists,” Ms Delahunty said. Ms Delahunty said the $15,000 Deadly Art Award is an open prize, awarded for an outstanding work by an Indigenous artist, living and working in Victoria.

My Country by Lorraine 'Bunta' Patten
Deadly Art Award

Ms Patten’s winning work, My Country, is a charcoal drawing of Mt Abrupt in Gariwerd (Halls Gap), in the artist’s traditional land. “My artwork honours the memory of my ancestors. When I visit my country I feel their spirits watching over me. I have a very strong connection to this country and it inspires me to paint and draw,” Ms Patten said.

The judging panel includes Jason Eades of the Koorie Heritage Trust; Judith Ryan of the National Gallery of Victoria; artist and 2003 Deadly Art Award Winner, Vicki Couzens; and Dot Peters, Indigenous elder and accomplished fibrecraft artist.

The panel’s comment about My Country was: “The artist knows this ‘country’ and it is evidenced by the work. There is a really strong sense of ‘country’. The work leapt out at the judges. The artist has an amazing grasp of the charcoal medium. The work has a strong composition and a sense of both the fine detail and the whole. Nothing is contrived about the work; it is a fresh response to the subject.”

Warraman by Kye McGuire
Lin Onus Award

The $5,000 Lin Onus Award, sponsored by the Aboriginal Artists Development Trust, is awarded for an outstanding work by an Indigenous artist, living and working in Victoria, aged 30 years and under. Kye McGuire, 25, was born in Perth and now lives in Flemington. Her pastel work Warraman is based on the concept of drawing strength from elders in respect to one’s self and one’s culture. The judging panel commended the work for its technical skill and for conveying a “real sense of strength, resilience and survival.”


Ms Delahunty also welcomed a new prize for the 2006 Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, announced at the awards ceremony by the Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, Frances Lindsay. “From 2006, a new annual award, the $5,000 NGV Acquisition Prize, sponsored by Judith and Leon Gorr, will be open for entry by Indigenous artists working in Victoria. This extends the important role the NGV has played in supporting the awards,” Ms Delahunty said.

“The Victorian Indigenous Arts Awards were established to celebrate, recognise and support Indigenous artists working in Victoria.

The Victorian Indigenous Arts Awards are an initiative of Deadly Arts Business, a partnership program between Arts Victoria and the Koori Business Network (KBN) that aims to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists living and practising in Victoria.

The Victorian Indigenous Art Awards 2005 Exhibition, featuring the winning and shortlisted works, is free to enter and open to the public from Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm until January 9 2006, at:

Arts Victoria
Level 6, 2 Kavanagh Street
Southbank VIC 3006

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