Alison Kennedy wins the 45th Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award

LYN DI CIERO

ICU, 2019, 240 x 300cm, white ink screen print on 30 high impact polystyrene panel, edition 1/1, by Alison Kennedy, winner of the 45th Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

Melbourne-based artist Alison Kennedy has been announced  as the winner of the 2021, $16,000 acquisitive Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award with her work ICU, a large-scale self-portrait. The work was created using white ink screen-printed on 30 industrial poly acrylic panels, and explores women’s work and the hidden labour of underrepresented groups. Kennedy has exhibited widely in Australia and Germany, and recently graduated with a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from Melbourne University, where she won the Fiona Myer Award in 2019. Her work and research have been critically received, and was included in the 10 year survey show of Leipzig International Art Residency (Germany) and in the 2021 ANAT DNA research residency program.

 

Kennedy’s practice explores the intersection of painting, photography and technology, challenging the standard tropes of portraiture and representation of self in the documentation of museum exhibits. She combines technology, malfunction and handmade media in her work,  grounded in a desire to reveal what is hidden through closely observing the artistic process as it twists and turns. Underneath it all she asks, “when does something make sense?” This often leads to artwork which surprises her as well as others.
 
ICU, (2019) valorises the female artist in her studio and is part of the artists’ overarching concern with expressing women’s work through meshing technology with printmaking. “The latter is crucial as it is through this refined laborious process that woman’s work is expressed as both method and subject. It is important in my practice that technology acknowledges and represents the role of the human body in perceiving and creating the world,” she says.

 

Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award judges, Felicity Johnston (Curator and Director, Art Collective WA), Rachel Salmon- Lomas (Printmaking lecturer and technician, Curtin University) and Lia Mcknight (artist and Collection Manager, Curtin University) commented, “Alison Kennedy’s skilfully composed work, ICU, is a brave and poignant portrait of the artist in her studio, her face and body partially obscured by glitches revealing the artist’s use of digital technology. She combines laboriously hand printed silkscreen with 3D modelling techniques, exploiting the effects of pixilation to create a seductive granular quality. Printed onto industrial acrylic sheeting, the work is one of many in the exhibition which is multi-panelled. In this case the glossy, reflective surface provides a sensual quality to the work that mirrors the viewer, placing us within this oversized portrait.”
Second prize winner is Walmajarri artist John Prince Siddon with Purlkartu (Spider), a 3D printed cow skull imprinted in his bold, distinctive painting style, referencing his Country and culture, arguably the most vibrant work in the exhibition.
 
Born in Derby in 1964, and based in Fitzroy Crossing, Perth Festival commissioned Siddon’s first major solo show All Mixed Up, presented by Fremantle Arts Centre in 2020. He is the son of Pompey Siddon, one of the founding painters at Mangkaja Arts Resource Agency. 
 
His practice moves across 2D and 3D, with painted cow skulls a staple over many years. For this work, Siddon hand painted a 3D printed skull, the surface of which features a lace or skin-like texture,
derived from one of his 2D paintings, developed over a 12 month period in collaboration with Head 3D and Emilia Galatis Projects.
 
The process involved selecting a 2D art work to imprint, and employing this as a textural relief over the surface of the 3D print. The work was printed after many months of refinement, then taken back to Fitzory Crossing to be painted. Purlkartu (Spider) is in line with Siddon’s depictions of station stories and the horror of colonisation in the Kimberley, and is emblematic of the artist’s ability to straddle two worlds, challenging the accepted place of remote art making.

Purlkartu (Spider), 2020, 20 x 50 x 50cm, acrylic paint on 3D print, ABS plastic resin, edition 1/5, by John Prince Siddon, printed by Heads 3D, second prize winner of the 2021 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

Highly commended were: I’ve Been Meaning To Give You These, 2020, by Beth Ferialdi; Road Repairs, 2020, by Pip Lewi + Paul Sutherland; Shadows on the hill, 2016 – ongoing, by Dan McCabe, and Then IV, 2020, by Cleo Wilkinson. 
 
The Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award continues to 18 July. 

Highly Commended: Then IV, 2020, 37 x 27cm, Mezzotint Print, Edition 18/40 by Cleo Wlkinson.

In the Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award: ANIMA #1, 2020, 118cm x 111cm, digital photography, Edition 2/5 by Christophe Canato. Printed by Fitzgerald Pro Lab. 

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