the churchie
  • Installation view, 'the churchie' 2020. In view: James Nguyen, 'Monochromes', 2018–ongoing; Nabilah Nordin, 'Anti-Poem', 2020; Marina Pumani Brown, Ngayuku Ngura Kuwari (My Home Now)', 2019. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Installation view, 'the churchie' 2020. In view: Martin George, 'Bubble', 2019; Nabilah Nordin, 'Anti-Poem', 2020; James Nguyen, 'Monochromes', 2018–ongoing. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Installation view, 'the churchie' 2020. In view: Georgia Morgan, This dream is real', 2020. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Guy Louden, 'Snake', 2020, software, hardware, live financial data and news, 13 x 30 x 3cm

  • Nathan Beard, 'White Gilt 3.0', 2020. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Emily Parsons-Lord, 'Standing Still (with practice, one may learn to accept the feelings of groundlessness)', 2020. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Tom Blake, 'loop (uu)', 2020. Photo: Louis Lim.

  • Lachlan McKee, 'Blocks', 2020; 'House', 2020. Photo: Louis Lim.

/

the churchie

emerging art prize 2020

18 September–19 December 202018 Sep–19 Dec 2020

#thechurchie

‘the churchie’ has returned to the IMA once more in 2020, debuting a new look and new approach. Continuing and expanding on the churchie emerging art prize’s rich legacy, the 2020 exhibition provides a survey of some of the most compelling art being produced by emerging artists in Australia today.

Major Prize Winner: Emily Parsons-Lord
Special Commendation: Nabilah Nordin
Commendations: Marina Pumani Brown & Georgia Morgan

Independent curator Talia Smith has curated the exhibition around the idea of ‘failure’, supporting artists to present their work at the IMA. The prize was judged by Tarun Nagesh, Curator, Asian Art, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art and announced at the IMA 18 September 2020.

Thanks to generous supporters, ‘the churchie’ offers a prize pool of $25,000, with the overall winner receiving a non-acquisitive $15,000 cash prize donated by long-standing sponsor, BSPN Architecture.

Since its inception at Anglican Church Grammar School in 1987, the prize has sought to identify and profile the next generation of contemporary artists from across the country. Today it is one of Australia’s leading prizes for emerging artists.

Throughout its history, ‘the churchie’ has adapted to the changing world of contemporary art. After outgrowing its original home at the school, the prize partnered with some of Brisbane’s leading university art museums to present its finalists’ exhibition, before partnering with the Institute of Modern Art for the first time in 2019.

 

Artists

Nathan Beard, Tom Blake, Jessica Bradford, Martin George, Yasbelle Kerkow, Guy Louden, Lachlan McKee, Georgia Morgan, Nabilah Nordin, James Nguyen, Emily Parsons-Lord, Marina Pumani Brown, and Athena Thebus

Curated By
  • Talia Smith
Artist Bio
Nathan Beard

Nathan Beard is a Perth-based interdisciplinary artist whose work addresses the complex interplay of culture and memory in the shaping of identity. Beard’s practice situates sincere and intimate exchanges with his Thai family alongside broader cultural signifiers to generate slippages of identity and query ‘Thainess’. Within this collision of aesthetic and emotional influences Beard’s practice personalises broader perspectives around diasporic identity.

Beard holds a Bachelor of Arts (Arts) with First Class Honours from Curtin University. He has recently exhibited at Firstdraft (2020), Cool Change Contemporary (2019), Bus Projects (2019), Turner Galleries (2018), and Art Gallery of Western Australia (2017). In 2017 Beard was selected for the 4A Beijing Studio Program, shortlisted as a finalist for the John Stringer Prize, and awarded Highly Commended in the Fremantle Art Centre Print Award.

Tom Blake

Tom Blake’s solo and collaborative practice contemplates the psychological, architectural, and technological frameworks that surround us through fragmented moments, looped imagery, and recurring motifs. Drawing is the starting point for many of Blake’s works, over time becoming fragmented, transposed, and re-composed.

Blake has exhibited in Australia, Japan, and Italy, been a finalist in Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) Print Award, the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, the CLIP Award, The Blake Prize, and has been awarded a Clitheroe Foundation Emerging Sculptor Mentorship. Blake’s work has been exhibited at Artspace, AGWA, FAC, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Murray Art Museum Albury, c3 Contemporary Artspace, Firstdraft, and KNULP. Blake is also part of momo doto, an ongoing collaboration with Dominique Chen.

Tom Blake’s solo and collaborative practice contemplates the psychological, architectural, and technological frameworks that surround us through fragmented moments, looped imagery, and recurring motifs. Drawing is the starting point for many of Blake’s works, over time becoming fragmented, transposed, and re-composed.

Blake has exhibited in Australia, Japan, and Italy, been a finalist in Fremantle Arts Centre (FAC) Print Award, the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award, the CLIP Award, The Blake Prize, and has been awarded a Clitheroe Foundation Emerging Sculptor Mentorship. Blake’s work has been exhibited at Artspace, AGWA, FAC, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), Murray Art Museum Albury, c3 Contemporary Artspace, Firstdraft, and KNULP. Blake is also part of momo doto, an ongoing collaboration with Dominique Chen.

Tom Blake
Jess Bradford

Jess Bradford is a Singaporean-born and Sydney-based artist working across painting, ceramics, video, and installation. Her work explores her mixed-race heritage by examining representations of cultural and national identity. Bradford has exhibited at various institutions and art spaces including Art Gallery of South Australia, 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (2019), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery (2015), Fairfield Museum & Gallery (2014), and Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest (2013). She has been a finalist in the Ramsay Art Prize, John Fries Memorial Prize, the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize, and the Jenny Birt Award. Bradford is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney.

Martin George

Martin George is a Sydney-born, Melbourne-based artist who works with painting and drawing. He creates visual conversations between different types of mark-making—impulsive or considered—that depict imaginary environments.

George has recently exhibited at Haydens (2019) and Conners Conners (2020) and has been shortlisted for prizes including the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (2020, 2019), Redland Art Awards (2018), and the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2017). He undertook a studio residency at Otis College of Art & Design, USA (2017) and he received a BFA (Hons.) from RMIT University (2016).

Martin George is a Sydney-born, Melbourne-based artist who works with painting and drawing. He creates visual conversations between different types of mark-making—impulsive or considered—that depict imaginary environments.

George has recently exhibited at Haydens (2019) and Conners Conners (2020) and has been shortlisted for prizes including the Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize (2020, 2019), Redland Art Awards (2018), and the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize (2017). He undertook a studio residency at Otis College of Art & Design, USA (2017) and he received a BFA (Hons.) from RMIT University (2016).

Martin George
Yasbelle Kerkow

Yasbelle Kerkow is an Australian-born, Fijian (vasu Batiki, Lomaiviti) artist. Her work focuses on promoting Pacific communities and their stories in Australia. She is a community arts facilitator and leader of the Kulin Nations (Melbourne) based art collective New Wayfinders.

Guy Louden

Guy Louden is an Australian artist and curator living in Fremantle/Walyalup and born in Toronto. Louden’s practice explores notions of capitalism, technology, and what the distant future may look like in the face of a societal breakdown. He has run and founded experimental galleries and curated major exhibitions. From 2014 to 2016 Louden was a director of Moana Project Space and in 2015 he co-founded and managed Success, a large-scale art space in Fremantle. Louden’s artwork has been exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and online.

Guy Louden is an Australian artist and curator living in Fremantle/Walyalup and born in Toronto. Louden’s practice explores notions of capitalism, technology, and what the distant future may look like in the face of a societal breakdown. He has run and founded experimental galleries and curated major exhibitions. From 2014 to 2016 Louden was a director of Moana Project Space and in 2015 he co-founded and managed Success, a large-scale art space in Fremantle. Louden’s artwork has been exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and online.

Guy Louden
Lachlan McKee

Lachlan McKee’s practice boils down the logic of pleasure, desire, and cultural production through painting, collage, and animation. Born in 1998, McKee lives and works in Melbourne. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) with Distinction from the Queensland College of Fine Art and is currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Georgia Morgan

Georgia Morgan lives and works in lutruwita/Tasmania. Her practice explores the assumed hierarchies of materials and places through site-based research, performance/invented ritual, and sculptural installations. She uses photocopies, building materials, and detritus, assembled with ceramics, videos, and paintings that result in a blending of ‘high’ and ‘low’. Morgan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2019 and was the recipient of the Bett Gallery Award.

Georgia Morgan lives and works in lutruwita/Tasmania. Her practice explores the assumed hierarchies of materials and places through site-based research, performance/invented ritual, and sculptural installations. She uses photocopies, building materials, and detritus, assembled with ceramics, videos, and paintings that result in a blending of ‘high’ and ‘low’. Morgan graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art in 2019 and was the recipient of the Bett Gallery Award.

Georgia Morgan
Nabilah Nordin

Nabilah Nordin is a Singaporean-Australian sculptor. Interested in material invention, her installations embrace a wonky craftsmanship, playfully celebrating the monstrous, visceral, and anthropomorphic qualities of materials.

Nordin’s work has been exhibited locally and internationally at galleries, museums, festivals, fairs, and biennales including; Institute of Contemporary Arts, Singapore Biennale, Neon Parc, The Commercial, COMA, LON Gallery, Artbank, Firstdraft, DISINI Festival, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, and Margaret Lawrence Gallery.

James Nguyen

James Nguyen uses documentary and performance, working with family and friends, to make work about the politics of art, self-representation, and collective risk. Nguyen was the recipient of the Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship.

James Nguyen uses documentary and performance, working with family and friends, to make work about the politics of art, self-representation, and collective risk. Nguyen was the recipient of the Clitheroe Foundation Scholarship and the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship.

James Nguyen
Emily Parsons-Lord

Emily Parsons-Lord’s practice is concerned with air and explosions. Recent work has recreated the air from past eras in Earth’s evolution, recreated starlight in coloured smoke, and experimented with pheromones, aerogel, and explosions. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and participated in Primavera (2016), the NSW Visual Arts Fellowship (2017), Liveworks (2017), Bristol Biennial: In Other Worlds, (2016), John Fries Award (2018), A BROKEN LINK, Central St Martin’s, London (2017), Stuttgart Film Winter Festival for Expanded Media, Firstdraft, and Vitalstatistix, amongst others.

Marina Pumani Brown

Marina Pumani Brown was born in Mimili Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the far northwest of South Australia. She comes from a long line of strong female painters and grew up watching these women paint. Her grandmother was Milatjari Pumani, one of the most famous artists in the APY region, her mother is Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, and her aunt was Ngupulya Pumani.

Learning from these women, and beside them, she has since developed her own interpretation of the Tjukurpa passed on to her. In her art practice, Marina shows contemporary ways of seeing her ancestral knowledge, sharing insights into her experience of day-to-day community life. She references her family’s homeland around Antara and Victory Well, which lie nestled in the granite hills of the Everard Ranges. Marina often spends the weekends out on country with her mother and daughter, collecting minkulpa (bush tobacco) and maku (witchetty grubs).

Marina Pumani Brown was born in Mimili Community on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands in the far northwest of South Australia. She comes from a long line of strong female painters and grew up watching these women paint. Her grandmother was Milatjari Pumani, one of the most famous artists in the APY region, her mother is Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, and her aunt was Ngupulya Pumani.

Learning from these women, and beside them, she has since developed her own interpretation of the Tjukurpa passed on to her. In her art practice, Marina shows contemporary ways of seeing her ancestral knowledge, sharing insights into her experience of day-to-day community life. She references her family’s homeland around Antara and Victory Well, which lie nestled in the granite hills of the Everard Ranges. Marina often spends the weekends out on country with her mother and daughter, collecting minkulpa (bush tobacco) and maku (witchetty grubs).

Marina Pumani Brown
Athena Thebus

Athena Thebus uses sculpture, drawing, and writing to explore notions of desire. She has presented solo and collaborative work at Next Wave Festival, Performance Space’s Liveworks Festival, Campbelltown Arts Centre, ACE Open, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, and Verge Gallery, among others. She guest edited the Runway Journal’s 39th issue (2019) and is a co-director at Firstdraft, Sydney.

Curator Bio

Talia Smith is an artist and curator from Aotearoa New Zealand and now based in Warrang Sydney. She is of Cook Island, Samoan, and NZ European heritage. Her curatorial and visual arts practice examines concepts of time, memory, and ruin with a particular focus on photography and moving image practices. She has curated exhibitions in Australia and New Zealand including Artbank Sydney, Cement Fondu, Artspace Ideas Platform, and Papakura Art Gallery. She was Artbank’s emerging curator (2018), Firstdraft’s emerging curator (2017), and was a part of the 4A Curatorial Intensive (2016). She recently undertook a two month curatorial residency in Frankfurt, Germany with Basis and has a mentorship with the Director of the Singapore Photo Festival for 2020. Her writing has appeared in Art New Zealand, Art Almanac, Running Dog, among other publications and essays. Talia was the Chair of Runway Journal 2017-2018 and is currently completing her Masters of Fine Arts (Research) at UNSW.


Related Events

'the churchie'

Online Prize Announcement

18 September 2020
6.30–7pm

Read More

Beyond failure

‘the churchie’ finalists in conversation

01 October 2020
6.30–7.30pm

Read More

Art Teacher Day

01 October 2020
9–10.30am

Read More

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands where the IMA now stands. We pay our respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

0