9 September 2021
The 2021 Desart Photography Prize Winner Announced
Coby Edgar, Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art AGNSW, today announced Tanya Singer of Maruku Arts and Crafts as the winner of the 2021 Desart Photography Prize with her work ‘My Mother’s Favourite Flowers’. “The story caught my attention, the focus on the delicate flower being her late mother’s favourite and the impact climate change is having in trying to source that flower” she said.
Speaking to her choices of Highly Commended, Coby Edgar reflected on Montana Clause of Martumili Arts, portrait of friend Tamisha Williams; “It’s such a great example of the relationship between a photographer and a model even though the focus of the work is the earrings.”
Edgars second Highly Commended went to Sonya Murphy of Arlpwe Art and Culture, whose untitled work demonstrates the process of jewellery making from a distinct vantage point.
Accepting her award as the overall winner for 2021 Tanya Singer said she was “ecstatic and a little overwhelmed” and “the Desart Photography Prize opens opportunities in art centres and particularly the young people to broaden their views and present their lives in their way.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Desart Photography Prize and provides an important platform where the Aboriginal photographer is behind the lens rather than being the observed.
The Prize emerged out of the broader Aboriginal Art Worker program that delivers opportunity for the development of technical skills and experimentation with new media.
The prize provides opportunities for Aboriginal Art Workers to work with an industry specialist to learn hands on curatorial practice. This year art workers, Hayley Coulthard of Hermannsburg Potters and Kathy Inkamala of Iltja Ntjarra Many Hands Art Centre and assistant manager Kathleen Rambler of Ampilatwatja Artists installed the show, facilitated by consultant Penny Watson, at the Desart Artspace.
Participating photographers provide us with an intimate insight into their community lives captured with a sense of comfort and familiarity that may only be conveyed by one who belongs. Said Marlene Chisholm, Manager of the Aboriginal Artworker program at Desart. “We are thrilled to see the development of this award over the past 10 years.” She said.
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