AMES, Multicultural Arts Victoria and VicHealth announce the 12 winners of the Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize, who were honoured at a special exhibition opening at Melbourne.
AMES and Multicultural Arts Victoria and VicHealth are excited to announce the 12 winners of the Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize, who were honoured at a special exhibition opening at fortyfivedownstairs in Flinders Lane last night.
A total prize pool of $15,000 has been shared by three primary prize-winners, a new arrival prize and eight honourable mentions. First prize is $5000 plus a solo exhibition at the Visitor Centre at Point Nepean National Park.
English student, Ma Late, took out first prize for her paper collage Three Countries. Arriving from Burma three years ago, Ma says her artwork is about Karen life in Burma, Thailand and Australia, and her hopes and dreams for the three countries and her people.
Professional designer and engraver, Nasrullah Qannadian, won second prize for his glass artwork called Star, a carefully crafted, hand-cut and engraved plate which pays tribute to humanitarian Angelina Jolie. Nasrullah arrived from Afghanistan eight months ago.
An embroidered piece called Pa Dow by housewife Se Vang secured third prize. Originally from Laos, Se has been living in Australia for 22 years now and says her artwork is about surviving the hard life and war to give children a better life.
The newly arrived prize was awarded to Rubaba Haider and her gouache on paper artwork called Pin Cushion. Her work evokes the emotional and physical traces of wounds as metaphors for life experiences which leave us changed forever.
Rubaba moved here from Afghanistan two years ago and won first prize in last year’s Heartlands competition.
Heartlands’ Head Judge and Curator of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Victoria, Elena Taylor, said this year’s Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize was an explosion of creativity.
“Despite the obvious struggles that many of these artists have had as refugees, I was most struck by the generally positive nature of the works,” Ms Taylor said.
Heartlands’ Judge and Executive Officer at Multicultural Arts Victoria, Jill Morgan, said the quality of work that was submitted for this year’s competition was outstanding.
“What hit me when I was judging the prize was the number of different mediums and cultures represented and the exceptional standard of the entries,” Ms Morgan said.
Adam Baxter from AMES said the prize was an important way to showcase the artistic skills, talents and creativity of refugee artists in Victoria and open up pathways for artists to develop their careers.
“This arts prize celebrates the contribution that refugee communities make to the social and economic fabric of Victoria, and at the same time gives refugees the opportunity to tell stories that often need more than words to understand or appreciate,” Adam said.
Now in its second year, the Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize Exhibition is presented by AMES and Multicultural Arts Victoria in partnership with VicHealth, Parks Victoria and South East Water.
More than 40 shortlisted entries, including all the winning artworks, will be showcased at the Heartlands Refugee Fine Art Prize Exhibition, held at fortyfivedownstairs in Flinders Lane from 15-25 June 2011.
For more information visit www.fortyfivedownstairs.com.au/events or www.multiculturalarts.com.au/heartlands, or call Multicultural Arts Victoria on 03 9417 6777.