Congratulations to Akil Ahamat who has won the $10,000 non-acquisitive John Fries Award, administered by the Copyright Agency. The Sydney-based artist was selected from a field of 12 early career visual artists for his video piece, So the spaces between us can stay soft, 2018.
The annual award for was judged this year by Kath Fries, artist and daughter of the late John Fries who the award honours; artist Consuelo Cavaniglia, who also curated the exhibition; director of 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art Mikala Tai; New Zealand-based artist Shannon Te Ao; and Sophia Kouyoumdjian, coordinator of the Parramatta Artists Studios.
Consuelo Cavaniglia, who has curated the award exhibition two years running, said of Ahamat’s winning work, “The judges returned to the work again and again, drawn by the intimacy of the experience. The work talks of power and complicity, vulnerability and control. It stems from an online experience but finds its own language.”
South Australian artist Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel was highly commended for her painting, Kapi Wankanya, 2018.
Works by all 12 finalists (Akil Ahamat, Betty Muffler, Beyula Napanangka Puntungka, Emily Parsons-Lord, James Nguyen, Jelena Telecki, Laura Hindmarsh, Leyla Stevens, Lisa Sammut, Paul Greedy, Rachael Mipantjiti Lionel, and Rochelle Haley) will be on show at UNSW Galleries until 3 November.