Big names to judge awards

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Louise Alling­ham

Three high-pro­file art pro­fes­sion­als will travel to the Pil­bara to judge the Cos­sack Art Awards next week­end.

Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art di­rec­tor El­iz­a­beth Ann McGre­gor, indige­nous artist and lec­turer Bianca Beet­son and 2014 Cos­sack At Award win­ner Josh Cock­ing will be judges for the art awards’ 25th an­niver­sary.

Cock­ing is a WA-based artist who took out the over­all prize at the 2014 Cos­sack Art Awards.

His unique paint­ing aes­thetic has won him a plethora of prizes, in­clud­ing the en­gage­ment award at last year’s Hed­land Art Awards, and his work has been shown in group and solo ex­hi­bi­tions through­out the coun­try.

MacGre­gor moved to Aus­tralia in 1999 from Birm­ing­ham to take up the job as di­rec­tor at Syd­ney’s Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art at a time when the fa­cil­ity was fac­ing great chal­lenges.

In a few short months, MacGre­gor had saved the mu­seum from fi­nan­cial hard­ship and has since been one of the coun­try’s most prom­i­nent fig­ures in the art world.

She has re­ceived sev­eral pres­ti­gious awards and hon­ours dur­ing her ca­reer, most notably an OBE on the Queen’s birth­day in 2011 for ser­vices to art.

Beet­son is an indige­nous artist based in Bris­bane and is a lec­turer in con­tem­po­rary indige­nous art at Queens­land’s Grif­fith Univer­sity.

She is known for her recog­nis­able art­work, which al­ways in­cor­po­rates the colour pink, and has been fea­tured in ex­hi­bi­tions in Aus­tralia and in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Beet­son’s work in­cludes all sorts of me­dia, in­clud­ing paint­ing, draw­ing, sculp­ture, in­stal­la­tion, pho­tog­ra­phy and public art, and ex­plores her iden­tity as an indige­nous Aus­tralian.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the awards con­tin­ued to at­tract a high cal­i­bre of par­tic­i­pa­tion. “Over the past 25 years, the Cos­sack Art Awards has been at­tract­ing the very best artis­tic tal­ent from the Pil­bara and across Aus­tralia and has earned it­self a rep­u­ta­tion as the coun­try’s most unique re­gional art prize,” he said.

“I’m ex­tremely de­lighted to an­nounce that this year’s en­tries will be judged by some of the big­gest names in Aus­tralia’s art world with a high-pro­file panel of ac­com­plished artists and crit­ics in­clud­ing past Cos­sack Art Awards win­ner Joshua Cock­ing.”

The awards are pre­sented by the City in col­lab­o­ra­tion with prin­ci­pal part­ner Rio Tinto.

Rio Tinto gen­eral man­ager Ports Dampier Jess Far­rell said she was look­ing for­ward to be­ing a part of the awards and sup­port­ing the de­vel­op­ment of arts and cul­ture in the re­gion.

“The cal­i­bre of judges pre­sid­ing over this year’s Cos­sack Art Awards is a re­flec­tion of the grow­ing sta­tus and rep­u­ta­tion of the event na­tion­ally and we are look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing them to the Pil­bara,” she said.

“As prin­ci­pal part­ner, Rio Tinto is proud to sup­port the long-term de­vel­op­ment of arts and cul­ture in the re­gion and the op­por­tu­ni­ties and in­sights th­ese vis­it­ing pro­fes­sion­als and cel­e­brated artists can bring with them.”

A to­tal of 300 art­works have been en­tered into this year’s awards with a prize pool of more than $100,000 to be given out across 10 cat­e­gories.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit cos­sackartawards.com.au.

Pic­ture: Louise Alling­ham

Josh Cock­ing won the en­cour­age­ment award for his work, Cause and Af­fect, at the 2016 Hed­land Art Awards.

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