Congratulations to Deanna Hitti who has won first prize in the 2018 Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award with her artist’s book titled, TOWLA. The prize is acquisitive so in addition to receiving $16,000 Hitti’s work will join the Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) permanent collection.
The Melbourne-based artist explained that her hand screenprinted book illustrates her late father’s instructions for how to play backgammon, phonetically transcribed in both Arabic and Latin alphabets.
Hitti was selected for first prize from a field of 50 finalists by a panel of judges, including: artist Lisa Roet; Ron Bradfield, Indigenous development manager with Artsource, WA; senior curator at Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) Annika Kristenson; and Charlotte Hickson, exhibitions manager at Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA).
“TOWLA presents a dialogue between her father’s homeland in Lebanon and his adopted country through which the artist articulates the joys and challenges of growing up biculturally in Australia. This work is a caretaker of memory that carries forward and shares the imprint of a family history,” said the judges in a collective statement.
The judges awarded the non-acquisitive $6000 second prize to emerging Torres Strait Islander artist Fiona Elisala for her lino cut print, Uman.
“Across the two days of judging we each found ourselves returning to the work of Fiona Elisala,” said the judges. “Both Hitti’s TOWLA and Elisala’s Uman are works that offer an invitation to understand the experiences of these artists and how their practices record and maintain heritage and traditions that are shared within communities across generations.”
Works by all 50 finalists will be on show from Friday 14 September.