2008 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize
Venue The Substation Arts Centre, 1 Market Street, Newport
Exhibition Dates 4 - 6 & 11-13 April 2008
Opening Hours 11am - 4pm FREE ENTRY
Featuring 87 artists from across Australia, this award is recognised nationally for showcasing innovation and excellence in the visual arts and annually attracts hundreds of high quality entries from across Australia.
The 2008 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize was officially opened by the Victorian Minister for the Arts Lynne Kosky, M.P, on Thursday 3 April, at the Substation Arts Centre, 1 Market Street Newport. Winner of the $3000 Major Prize was a video installation by Ben Millar. Judges for this years awards were David Hurlston, Curator of Australian Art Exhibitions, National Gallery of Victoria, Geoffrey Ricardo noted Melbourne artist and lecturer and Donald Williams, arts writer and Director of Global Art Projects.
Recognised nationally for showcasing innovation and excellence in the visual arts, Williamstown Festival’s 2008 Contemporary Art Prize annually attracts hundreds of entries from across Australia. This year’s award attracted enormous interest from artist s nationwide, with over 360 entries received across all genres including painting, sculpture, photography, video, multi media and installation art.
Spokesperson for the judging panel, David Hurlston, said the high standard of entries made for a long and carefully considered deliberation, but in the end the decision was unanimous.
"As judges we were very impressed with the overall standard of entries in the 2008 Williamstown Contemporary Art Award and would like to express our congratulations to all who submitted work. The winning entry, Ben Millar's The practice of levity (Pheelix finds colour), was a unanimous choice. A multi layered work; we considered it witty, clever in execution, and felt it made excellent use of the medium."
Curator, Australian Art Exhibitions, National Gallery of Victoria
A record 87 artists from Victoria and interstate were selected by the judges for exhibition in the 2008 awards. Over 20% of these are local artists from the Melbourne Western Region, an indication of the strength of local contemporary art practice. Recipient of this year’s Williams Real Estate Local Artist Award is photographer, Andrew Green, with his conceptual art protest piece Coming! Ready or not, which is a personal response to his outrage at the decision to allow the dredging of Port Phillip Bay to proceed against a wave of objections from a broad cross-section of the community.
Other awarded artists in the Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize included, 2D Award winner, Kate Winterton, with her striking and confronting image Untitled.
Winner of the Williams Real Estate 3D Award was sculptor/ceramist Darren McGinn of Geelong, with his wry and iconic piece, Busman’s Holiday, consisting of a row of pristine white ceramic caravans on a builders work stand. A PhD candidate at Monash University, Darren was only last year awarded the $10,000 Toyota Community Spirit Artist Travel Award and will travel to Tasmania this year to complete an artist residency studying the effects of rapid urban development on communities.
Highly Commended Awards were sponsored by Fundere Studios, New North fine art photographic prints and GreenwichGallery.
The Highly Commended artists were;
Lada Dedic, with her exquisite knitted wine glasses, Twine Glasses: Missing in Action, painter Daniel Worth, with his Portrait of my studio, and Alison Langley, with her photographic work, Archipelancholy.
The Contemporary Art Prize is part of the 2008 Williamstown Festival and is proudly supported by the Williamstown Festival Committee, The Hobsons Bay City Council, local business and The Substation Arts Centre in Newport. This is the fourth year the awards have been held at the Newport Substation, an iconic heritage building that is growing a reputation as one of Melbourne’s best and most unique contemporary art spaces. The Substation is run by a local community initiative that is transforming the once derelict local icon building into a hub for local arts and artists.
"I am thrilled with the new spaces that current building works have opened up in the Substation this year. It has allowed us to show and even broader diversity of contemporary practice, which has made this years art prize the strongest ever."
Ken Wong, curator 2008 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize
Now in his second year at the helm for the art prize, Wong said the quality and diversity of work has continued to build on the high standard set in recent years.
"The Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize is a unique showcase of some of the best of contemporary arts practice, not only locally but from across Australia. It has grown a well deserved reputation over the past few years as not only the Western suburbs premier showcase for contemporary visual art, but also a highly regarded and prestigious award throughout the arts industry. This is something that is evidenced by the esteemed judging panel who have agreed to adjudicate this years awards. We encourage people from throughout the west and beyond to come and view this exciting exhibition that provides such a valuable opportunity for local artists.
Hobsons Bay and surrounding areas is home to a vibrant and highly active arts community that takes it’s inspiration from the diverse cultures and environments that make it such a unique and interesting place. The area is really a cultural melting pot and historically you find that some of the most significant art movements have come from areas like this with diverse populations and backgrounds. Art is a way of sectors of the community exploring and gaining better understanding about themselves and each other. This exhibition features an extraordinary diversity of works exploring a broad range of contemporary themes including human conflict, social equity, consumerism and the environment."
Ken Wong, curator 2008 Williamstown Festival Contemporary Art Prize
Winning artists with Victorian Minister for the Arts Lynne Kosky MP, Cr Angela Altair Deputy Mayor Hobsons Bay City Council, Cr Peter Hempell Hobsons Bay City Council, Wade Noonan MP Member for Williamstown, Art prize curator & coordinator , Ken Wongand award judges David Hurlston, Curator of Australian Art Exhibitions, NGV, Geoffrey Ricardo noted Melbourne artist and lecturer andDonald Williams arts writer & Director of Global Art Projects. Photo courtesy Andrew Green
about the judges
Curator Australian Art Exhibitions, National Gallery of Victoria
David Hurlston is currently employed by the National Gallery of Victoria as Curator, Australian Art Exhibitions, a position he has held since February 2002. He has previously been employed by the NGV as Program Coordinator from 1999 until 2002 and Access Gallery Curator from 1993 until 1999. In 1985 David completed a Bachelor of Art in Fine Art at RMIT majoring in ceramic sculpture and in 1991 undertook post-graduate study in art curatorship at the University of Melbourne. He has curated a number of exhibitions for the NGV including, most recently, Deborah Halpern: Angel (2006) and Geoffrey Bartlett (2007). He serves on the City of Maribyrnong’s Art Advisory Panel, is a member of Arts Project Australia’s Exhibitions Committee and a Board Member of the NETS Victoria Board of Management. David is a resident of Williamstown. Visit NGV site
Melbourne artist and lecturer
Geoffrey studied printmaking at the Chisolm Institute of Technology and graduated from Monash University, obtaining the Graduate Diploma in Fine Art Printmaking. In both 1986 and 1988 he was awarded the Mornington Peninsula Arts Council Aquisitive Print Prize, and in 1989, the City of Doncaster Aquisitive Print Prize. He has regular solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Australia and internationally. His paintings, prints and sculptures are represented at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Tasmania, the Holmes A’Court Collection in Western Australia, and other regional galleries and institutions. His work is also in many private collections and is represented by Australian Galleries in Melbourne and Sydney. Sessional lecturer at Monash University for seven years and guest lecturer at Victorian College of the Arts, R.M.I.T and P.I.T. Residencies at Canberra school of Art and U.W.A. Visit Geoffrey's website
Director of Global Art Projects
Donald’s background is in arts education having worked with the National Gallery of Victoria and the Tate Gallery, London. In 1997 he co-founded Global Art Projects which has been involved in a host of projects including exhibition management at the Venice Biennale for the Australia Council for the Arts on numerous occasions and also provides consultancy advice and services for numerous public, corporate and private collections. Global Art Projects also produced the exhibitions component of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Festival in 2006. He is also a freelance writer and contributor to various publications and has published several books on art, design and architecture. Visit Global Arts Project website
Sponsored and supported by
Williamstown Summer Festival Ltd
Hobsons Bay City Council
The Substation Arts Centre
Williams Real Estate
Toyota Community Spirit
New North fine art photographic printing
Enquiries contact watch arts on 03 58214548 or email