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Joanna Braithwaite has won the third annual Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize. The Sydney-based artist was selected from a field of 116 finalists for her painting, Bold and the Beautiful, 2019. The $35,000 award is acquisitive, so Braithwaite’s painting will join the Ravenswood School for Girls collection.

The 2019 prize was judged by artist Jennifer Turpin; Edwina Palmer, coordinator of visual arts at the Ravenswood School for Girls where the prize is held; and Kathryn Hendy-Ekers who is the visual arts curriculum manager at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

In a joint statement about Braithwaite’s winning work the judges said, “Portraits of animals are a focus of Joanna Braithwaite’s work. Painted with the richness and precision of old masters, she endows them with the same focus, attention and individuality given to humans. Through her humour and quirks of expression, she raises our awareness of the individuals within species other than ourselves. She draws our attention to the importance of biodiversity, the rights of animals and the joy of bestowing them with compassion and care.”

When accepting the award for a professional artist, Braithwaite said, “I feel very humble when I look at the calibre of all the artists here tonight, and fortunate that the Prize is run by a school, where pupils, who are the future connoisseurs of art, will see my work.”

Chris Casali won the emerging artist prize of $5000 for her graphite watercolour Mutawintgi Dreaming.

“An intriguing shimmering dreamscape, this complex work conjures the space of the imagination. As graphite slides over the surface of the silver paper a spatial landscape is formed where the abstract becomes figurative and the surface becomes depth,” said the judges of Casali’s work.

Professional artists Leila Jeffreys, Abbey McCulloch, and Tamara Dean were highly commended, as were emerging artists Jess Leonard, Elaine Green, and Anna Maria Antoinette D’Addario.

Works by all 116 finalists are on show at the Ravenswood School for Girls until 9 June.

Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize Exhibition
Ravenswood School for Girls
31 May – 9 June

Art Guide Australia