Art Prize Winner Puts Moreton Bay on the Map
Published 25 November 2022
Moreton Bay locals won’t have to fly to France or Melbourne to see internationally acclaimed artwork after highly regarded artist Atong Atem took out Council’s 15 Artists 2022 prize with her work, Banksia.
Atem was awarded $20,000 for the top prize and her selection of photographs exploring stories of Australia’s first African settlers is currently featured in the Redcliffe Art Gallery alongside the others finalists’ works as part of the 15 Artists 2022 exhibition.
Mayor Peter Flannery said her works be a great addition to Council’s growing collection of artworks and would help inspire the next generation of local artists to strive for greatness.
“This is the 25th year of our 15 Artists prize and we couldn’t be happier with the calibre of entrants who collectively submitted some of the most impressive works we’ve seen to date,” he said.
“It’s a great recognition that our most prestigious award is growing in national status and these works from Atong Atem will go a long way to putting Moreton Bay on the map as a cultural destination.
“Atem is a Sudanese-born, internationally-renowned artist and writer from Melbourne whose star continues on a meteoric rise in the art world, so the fact that we’ve been able to acquire these works, is a great coup for Moreton Bay.
“Having works of this standard not only raises our portfolio and visitation significantly on a national level, but it helps to inspire young artists to pursue a creative practice and provides them with access to works by Australian’s most celebrated artists.
“This art prize is the perfect complement to our Moreton Bay Region Art Prize, which celebrates the local talent we have within Moreton Bay and provides them with an opportunity to showcase their ability to the world.
“Working in tandem, we hope this raises the level of work being produced on home soil and creates a higher quality of local galleries for locals and visitors to enjoy.
“We are the third largest Council in Australia, so we should aspire to have the best galleries, theatres, sports facilities, parks, greenspaces, and other recreational facilities in the country.
“I can’t wait to see Atong Atem’s career continue to grow and the years of joy this series of artworks will bring to our region.”
A favourite of the Redcliffe Art Gallery’s program, the 15 Artists exhibition attracts visitors who explore the artworks from leading artists across Australia.
This year’s guest judge Peta Rake, Senior Curator at University of Queensland’s Art Museum, said each work in 15 Artists 2022 shows the reality of our climate and communities.
“The artworks contributed spoke adeptly to the state of our present moment and issued calls to action about the reality of our climates and communities, both shared and precarious,” she said.
“It is without a doubt that all the artists in the exhibition presented ways to understand and be in the world in renewed, honest and inquiring ways.
“Notably, a through-line in the works spoke to a form of resilience and joy articulated through Care for Country, collaboration, and truth-telling.”
15 Artists 2022 is on now at Redcliffe Art Gallery and closes 3 December 2022.
Visit Council’s website for more information: https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Galleries-Museums/Events/RAG/15-Artists-2022