the churchie emerging art prize 2022 guest judge Sebastian Goldspink tonight announced Emmaline Zanelli as the recipient of this year’s $15,000 prize.
Goldspink, a Sydney-based independent curator and the curator of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial: Free/State, said, “The winning video work is a choreographed montage of the artist with her Nonna in suburban Adelaide. Drawing on the aesthetics and politics of Italian Futurism, Zanelli evokes memory through movement and intergenerational knowledge through exchange”.
Goldspink said, “Zanelli’s Dynamic Drills (2020–2021) is reflective of an Australia that I want to endorse: pluralistic rather than defined by one type of ‘Australianness’”.
“Her work encapsulates many of the striking ideas in the show: technology as a mediator, an artist’s relationship to and disconnection from their background, an endearing vision of humanity, artists processing the world through making, working with community and non-artistic collaborators, and an engagement with temporality”.
“It is an incredibly rich work. It’s interesting, considered and beautiful. I hope that audiences spend time with it to experience its narrative”.
Emma Buswell, Norton Fredericks, and Kevin Diallo were also named at the prize announcement at the Institute of Modern Art in Fortitude Valley this evening.
Emma Buswell’s knitted garments, After Arachne (2020), record major moments from 2020; both public events and the artist’s personal experiences.
“There’s a wonderful humour in this work”, said Goldspink. “Contained in the jumpers is a record of passing time, which has been so malleable over the past few years. The work directly engages viewers because we all remember the incidents the artist has selected—such as the bushfires—and they prompt us to recall our own thoughts and feelings”.
Goldspink used Buswell’s practice to reflect on the exhibition. “It is a very human show”, he said. “We are on the cultural precipice of AI and other disruptive technologies entering our lives and there is a battle for our humanity. Against this larger threat, there is something beautiful in the jumpers’ humble and diaristic look at what is happening in our world”.
Buswell was awarded the $5,000 Special Commendation prize, sponsored by Fardoulys Constructions. Fredericks and Diallo each received $1,000 Commendation Prizes, sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services.
Norton Fredericks’ Identity Landscape (2022) uses native plants to dye soft, largescale felt art. Kevin Diallo’s Ode to Zouglou (2021) enlarges and decorates YouTube screenshots of Zouglou dancers, a dance-oriented style of music that emerged from the Ivory Coast in the mid-1990s.
Goldspink said, “Fredericks’ work is stunningly beautiful, and I enjoyed the practical element of sound absorption. Diallo’s practice displays a tension between the analogue and the digital that is echoed throughout the exhibition”.
‘the churchie’ is one of Australia’s leading prizes for emerging artists, attracting over 400 entries from across the country this year.
The 2022 exhibition was curated by emerging Sri Lankan-Australian curator Elena Dias-Jayasinha. Dias-Jayasinha said, “this year’s entries boldly speak to the issues of contemporary society: systems of authority, identity, culture, place and sustainable artistic practice.”
“Despite tackling confronting issues, the works remain grounded and personal, and hint at an optimistic future.”
This year’s exhibition presents the work of twelve early-career artists from across the country, working in media spanning painting, textiles, video and more.
IMA Director Liz Nowell said, “‘the churchie’ has always profiled up-and-coming artists to watch, and this year is no exception.”
“The distinctive practices of the finalists fill the IMA’s walls with a vibrancy and diversity that reflect our contemporary world. We’re proud to present the 35th edition of ‘the churchie’ and showcase the incredible talent of Australia’s next generation of contemporary artists.”
Voting remains open for a $3,000 People’s Choice Award, also sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services, which will be awarded at the close of the exhibition. One lucky voter will win a luxury night away courtesy of Spicers Retreats. See the churchie emerging art prize 2022 at the IMA to cast your vote before Saturday, 1 October.
This year’s finalists join notable ‘churchie’ alumni, including Christopher Bassi, Sam Cranstoun, Agatha Gothe-Snape, Kyra Mancktelow, Nina Sanadze, and Judy Watson.
the churchie emerging art prize 2022 is on view at the IMA until Saturday, 1 October 2022. The IMA is open Tuesday–Saturday, 10.00am–5.00pm and admission is always free.
Image: Zanelli’s Dynamic Drills (2020–2021) Still.