The prestigious $35,000 Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize, a bequest to The University of Western Australia, has been awarded to emerging, mature-age graduate Andrew Styan for his work The Bell Buoy.
The prize, one of the most significant in the nation, is now in its sixth year and is awarded through Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA)’s annual Hatched National Graduate Show.
A collaboration between PICA, UWA and the trustees of the Dr Harold Schenberg Bequest, the prize is awarded to one outstanding Hatched artist to further develop in their career.
Dr Schenberg was a leading dermatologist, renowned art collector and philanthropist. He was known as a colourful and generous character who had a true love of life.
His relationship with UWA started in 1948 as a first-year medical student, and just before he died in 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University in recognition of his distinguished service and contribution to the Arts.
The 2015 Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize Judges were PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard; Lisa Slade, Assistant Director Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia; and Professor Ted Snell, Director, UWA Cultural Precinct.
The winning entry is a kinetic multimedia installation exploring humanity’s impact on climate. The installation plays on the notion of an asteroid drawing closer to earth.
Professor Snell said Andrew Styan’s work balanced simplicity with a sense of autobiography and a deep knowledge of place, without tipping over into sentimentality.
“The three main elements of his video, light, sound and sculpture installation collectively engage the viewer, creating a ‘device of wonder,” he said. “The revealed mechanics of the work only increasing that sense of wonder. It is such a fresh and original work that on seeing it I immediately wanted to see more of Andrew’s work.”
Professor Snell said the Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize made an extremely important contribution to developing the careers of some of our brightest emerging stars.
“Not only does it engender a healthy competitive edge to the annual Hatched exhibition, but it provides one artist with the resources to really establish themselves in their chosen career. Dr Schenberg would be thrilled to see so many emerging artists given this opportunity to succeed,” he said.
Andrew worked in the steel industry since 1978, before retiring in 2008 to research climate change and study visual arts at the University of Newcastle, NSW. He said winning the Harold Schenberg Art Prize would allow him to continue his arts practice.
Photo: Andrew Styan, Nick di Lorenzo from the Dr Harold Schenberg Trust and PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard (Photo by Toni Wilkinson)
David Stacey (UWA Media and Public Relations Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716