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Congratulations to Indigenous artist Peter Mungkuri who has won the inaugural Hadley’s Art Prize.

The newly created Tasmanian art award was established to promote contemporary Australian artists working with landscape. With a $100,000 prize associated with the win, it has become the world’s richest landscape accolade.

Award entrants were asked to respond to the theme of ‘history and place’ by conjuring connections between the landscape and the past, through memories, cultural traditions or stories.

Mungkuri answered this theme with a depiction of his birthplace, Fregon, in Central Australia. Titled Ngura Wiru (Good Country), the delicate ink drawing communicates Mungkuri’s connection to Fregon.

“Back then we lived in the bush, slept in the warm sand and we lived on the bush tucker,” explains Mungkuri. “That place is where it all started, that was my home.”

By representing the rich plant culture of Fregon, the artist has created not only an enduring personal work, but also an important work for Anangu people. As the artist says of his connection to place, “I love this country, it has watched us Anangu for many years. It is a wise country.”

The art prize is further celebrated with an associated exhibition at Hadley’s Orient Hotel, which is currently showing Mungkuri’s winning entry alongside the work of the 41 award finalists. The accolade is also an acquisitive award. The winning entry has been added to Hadley’s permanent art collection, which will be open to the public.

Judged by Dr Julie Gough, Roger Butler AM and Lisa Slade, the panel also bestowed four Highly Commended Awards. These went to Sue Lovegrove, Guan Wei, Nyaparu Gardiner and Jane Tangney.

Hadley’s Art Prize Exhibition
Hadley’s Orient Hotel
15 July – 25 August

Tiarney Miekus