Sulman Prize 2017 Finalist
29 July – 22 October 2017
Art Gallery of New South Wales
The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project by an Australian artist.
A genre painting is normally a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life, and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes.
A subject painting, in contrast, is idealised or dramatised. Typically, a subject painting takes its theme from history, poetry, mythology or religion. In both cases, however, the style may be figurative, representative, abstract or semi-abstract.
A mural is a picture fixed directly to a wall or ceiling as part of an architectural and/or decorative scheme.
Established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the prize was first awarded in 1936. Each year the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW invite a guest artist to judge this open competition. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery (although in the early years all entrants were hung).
Angela Tiatia (2017), ‘Invisibleness’, oil on linen, 153 x 117 cm
Women of colour experience an everyday paradox – being simultaneously invisible and highly visible. In mainstream film, television, politics and art, the coloured woman is largely invisible. Barely glimpsed. This leads to a public who are unfamiliar with her.
Paradoxically, this unfamiliarity makes her highly visible in her everyday life. She sticks out. However, it is not the person that is noticed but her features, which seem peculiar – the texture of her hair, the colour of her skin. She is objectified as a dehumanised collection of oddities. Invisibleness is about the experience of not being seen as a complete person.
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