The inaugural 2 Danks Street Award for Art Criticism has been won by Luise Guest, Visual Arts Coordinator at Sydneys Loreto College in Kirribilli and a passionate researcher, blogger and writer on the visual arts. Her review of Saif Almurayatis exhibition at Janet Clayton Gallery in July was the clear choice of the expert judging panel – Candice Bruce, Owen Craven, Prudence Gibson and John McDonald. The winning entry was one of eight finalists submitted to the panel by the Danks Street galleries. In reaching their decision, members of the panel underlined the importance of bringing to art criticism a deep engagement with the context and process of art, as well as well-honed writing skills.
Candice Bruce commented that the writer revealed an understanding of what the purpose of the article was and of the artist’s work. It also demonstrated a wider understanding and knowledge of where the artist’s work fitted, she said. Pru Gibson wrote, the entry showed a lovely articulation of the poetry and politics in Almurayati’s work. Each of the judges emphasized the high standards required in writing for publication. In John McDonald’s words: The pieces struggled to find an even tone, which may be something that only time and practice can remedy. Owen Craven said that Artist Profile would continue to support this award in the coming years. It is important to search for new voices, he said. We need writers who can inspire the next generation of collectors and art lovers.
We encourage all the entrants to keep writing, and congratulate the winner, Luise Guest. The 2 Danks Street Award for Art Criticism was initiated by the nine galleries of 2 Danks Street. The entrants were required to submit a review of an exhibition within the permanent galleries of the complex. The award was open to entrants of all ages who were not receiving a regular income from arts writing.
The winner receives a cash prize of $1,000 offered by the 2 Danks Street galleries, the opportunity to write a review for Artist Profile, and publication in the online magazine Art for All/All for Art. The award winner, Luise Guest, is extending her research interest in Chinese art through a 9-week writers residency in Beijing with Redgate Gallery later this year. A book about established and emerging women artists in China is in her sights. All finalists entries will be published in the next online edition of ArtforAll/All for Art For further information contact Janet Clayton at [email protected] or 0401 996 990. Luise Guest’s winning entry can be read at www.janetclaytongallery.com.au.