Lunney Named Winner of 2014 John Fries Award

Visual Arts

Melbourne artist Bridie Lunney has won the 5th 2014 John Fries Award for her sculptural-performance work, This Endless Becoming. The artist wins $10,000.

John Fries Award curator and judge, Sebastian Goldspink, said the judges were unanimous in their decision, which also saw two artists highly commended: Tim Bruniges for his installation and sound work, Mirrors, and Kate Scardifield for Garland (objects and new artifacts).

Goldspink said, “The prize this year attracted an incredible diversity of entries and artists. Bridie’s work is immediately strong in the way it uses, adapts and interacts with the space. It can be viewed in two ways, either in its performance state, featuring a sleeping man and an active woman woman (James Lunney and Lily Paskas), or without the human element.

“The strength of the entire piece and how it extends a sculptural work with the performance element displays a unique and engaging creativity which the judges agreed put it ahead of a very competitive field.”

Lunney graduated from RMIT University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture). She has since exhibited at Melbourne Now, Gertrude Contemporary, Sydney’s Performance Space and Melbourne International Art Festival among others, and is a resident artist at Gertrude Contemporary.

In her award submission, Lunney said she responds to the site she is working in, developing her works intuitively to engage the given context, physical conditions and materials. She “…acknowledges the body as a conduit between our emotional and psychological selves and the physical world. Performative and sculptural gestures in the works suggest psychological shifts and a reconfiguration of hierarchical relationships between architectural space, objects and the body.”

The works of all 23 finalists for this year’s award are being exhibited at the John Fries Award’s venue partner UNSW Galleries in Paddington, Sydney until 6 September.

Chief Executive of Copyright Agency | Viscopy, Murray St Leger, said, “We are thrilled with the standard the award has achieved in this its fifth year. The exhibition is a tribute to the creativity of a new generation and we are delighted to support it.”

The award was established by the Fries family in memory of Viscopy Board Director John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of the organisation.

The 2014 John Fries Award finalists exhibition features: Abdul Abdullah, Justin Balmain, Ella Barclay, Tim Bruniges, Julian Day, Omar Chowdhury, George Egerton-Warburton, Marc Etherington, Hamishi Farah, Heath Franco, Samuel Hodge, Anna Horne, Juz Kitson, Anna Kristensen, Bridie Lunney, Daniel McKewen, Beryline Mung, Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran, Alair Pambegan, Kate Scardifield, Marilyn Schneider, Jacqui Shelton and Jason Wing.

Judges for the 2014 award are: Sebastian Goldspink, ALASKA Projects, Alexie Glass-Kantor, Artspace, 2013 John Fries Award winner Jess Olivieri and artists Kath Fries and Megan Cope. The award’s 2014 sponsors include: International Art Services, 10 group, Little Creatures Brewery and Small Acres Cyder.

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