The vision and ingenuity of artists under 40 from across Australia is on display at the second iteration of the Ramsay Art Prize in the Art Gallery of South Australia. Held every two years, the Ramsay Art Prize invites submissions from youthful Australian artists working in any medium. There were 350 entries this year.

Works by 23 artists were selected as finalists and are on display in this major exhibition. The winner of the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize 2019 at his second attempt is Aranda-man, Vincent Namatjira from the prolific Iwantja Art Centre with his work ‘Close Contact’, 2018.

The winning work of art is a first for Namatjira “ a double-sided portrait in acrylic paint on plywood. It represents a departure from his wall-based paintings on canvas. The title is a play on the concept of ˜first contact’ between Indigenous Australians and the Anglo invaders, in the person Captain James Cook. Namatjira uses the double-sided painting as a strategy to explore the reversal of historical narratives of colonisation. ‘Close Contact‘ presents an unexpected conflation of past and present, coloniser and colonised, and the British discovery/invasion of Australia.

Finalists were chosen by a judging panel comprising the Australian Russell Storer, Deputy Director at the National Gallery of Singapore, Richard Lewer, contemporary artist, and Dr Lisa Slade, Assistant Director, Artistic Programs, Art Gallery of South Australia.

Through the generosity of the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the winning work is acquired for the Gallery’s collection.

You can visit the Adelaide exhibition and vote for your favourite work of art in the People’s Choice Prize, a non-acquisitive cash prize of $15,000, supported by Lipman Karas. Voting closes 4 August 2019.

Artists selected for the hang:

Liam Benson (NSW)
Jessica Bradford (NSW)
Ry David Bradley (VIC)
Eric Bridgeman (QLD)
Lina Buck (VIC)
Dale Collier (NSW)
Julia deVille (VIC)
Kuba Dorabialski (NSW)
Emily Ferretti (VIC)
Tom Freeman (WA)
Tarryn Gill (WA)
Nathan Hawkes (NSW)
Sophia Hewson (VIC)
Hayley Millar-Baker (VIC)
Viv Miller (VIC)
Pierre Mukeba (SA)
Vincent Namatjira (SA)
Phuong Ngo (VIC)
Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran (NSW)
Jahnne Pasco-White (VIC)
Huseyin Sami (NSW)
Isadora Vaughan (VIC)
Sera Waters (SA)

Intriguing how often some names keep cropping up in exhibitions like The National, the Archibald, this and other prizes….Eric Bridgeman, Julia deVille, Tarryn Gill, Vincent Namatjira, Phuong Ngo, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran…..

Winning works by Ramsay Art Prize 2017 winner, Sarah Contos, and winner of the People’s Choice, Julie Fragar, are also on display