Winning artist of $30,000 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize announced for 2022

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Winning artist of $30,000 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize announced for 2022

Naomi Hobson with ‘Sand dunes on the coast’ 2022, Geelong Contemporary Art Prize (winner), Geelong Gallery 2022, photographer: Hails & Shine

Naomi Hobson is awarded the $30,000 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize.

Far North Queensland-based artist Naomi Hobson has been awarded the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize for her painting Sand dunes on the coast 2022.

Running in the heart of Geelong at the beloved Geelong Gallery, this $30,000 acquisitive award and biennial exhibition showcases the diversity and excellence of Australian contemporary painting practice. The signature event saw 28 works by leading and emerging Australian artists shortlisted for Prize, with Hobson being named the winner on Friday, July 15.

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The selection panel included Lisa Byrne, Director, McClelland Sculpture Park+Gallery, Kyla McFarlane, Senior Academic Programs Curator, Museums & Collections, The University of Melbourne, and Lisa Sullivan, Senior Curator, Geelong Gallery, who were drawn to the energy and structural complexity of Hobson’s interpretation of the natural world.

Sand dunes on the coast is representative of the artist’s distinctive style: her vibrant multi-layered compositions emerge from and convey a deep ancestral connection to the traditional lands of the Kaantju/Umpila people, on which she was born and continues to live and work (in the coastal town of Coen).

The complexity of the composition reflects the rich diversity of this landscape—from coast to wetlands to mountain ranges—and the interconnectedness of the plants, animals and people that live harmoniously within it amid changing weather patterns. Hobson’s joyful and expressive work, rendered in vivid colours and a diverse array of mark-making, powerfully depicts her connection to Country in her distinctive visual language.

Of the award-winning painting Sand dunes on the coast Hobson has stated: “This work is inspired by feelings towards my natural world. It’s the light of the coastal morning sun shimmering across the ocean and lagoons. It’s the soft angular contours of the western slopes slowly descending to a sea of wetlands. The drama of folding and collapsing mountain ranges with the weather waiting to happen one way or the other. All the while my family and my ancestors received and gave. Mountains, plants, animals, and people. We are all one. We are Grounded in Nature.”

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize is the exhibition you need to see this year 

The judges also wish to acknowledge the contemporary relevance and excellent quality of the works of the additional 27 finalists who were selected from an Australia-wide field of over 400 entries, and who are among the country’s finest established and emerging artists. You can view all 28 works in their entirety at the 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize exhibition.

And the best part is that seeing this exhibition won’t cost you a cent, with entry completely free. Happy wandering!

The 2022 Geelong Contemporary Art Prize runs at the Geelong Gallery from Saturday 25 June to Sunday 11 September 2022. You can find out more about the exhibition here