Originality and research has secured a win for Ruth William’s work Study After Namuth in the Pollock at the Princess competition.
Artists were invited by Theatre North and Hotel Grand Chancellor Launceston to create a Jackson Pollock-inspired artwork.
The competition celebrated the 65th birthday of the American artist’s most famous work Blue Poles (Number 11, 1952), which was acquired by The National Gallery of Australia in 1973.
There were some great artworks in the mix.
I wish I’d been able to choose a top 15.
The announcement was made at the official exhibition opening by Gallery Pejean director Margot Baird on Tuesday evening, coinciding with the evening’s performance of Bakersfield Mist, which centered around a potential Pollock discovery.
Williams said her work was inspired by the first photograph sessions Hans Namuth took of Pollock in his studio with his wife.
She tried to capture “the physicality, both in his active dance-like movement around the canvas laid out on the floor, their clothes and Lee Krasner’s pose [his wife] on the bar stool where she seems to be absorbed in not obstructing his creative activity”.
Tasmanian artist and curator Patrick Sutczak faced tough decisions as he selected 10 finalists from the 28 entries.
“There were some great artworks in the mix,” Sutczak said.
“I wish I’d been able to choose a top 15.”
When it came down to picking the winner, Sutczak said Williams had evidently researched and took an original idea depicting the “essence” of Pollock.
Glover Prize 2011 winner Josh Foley and University of Tasmania Masters of Fine Arts student Catherine Phillips were both highly commended for their Pollock-style abstract expressionist work and use of colour.
Foley created Project Pollock, while Phillips created an artwork called Poles Apart.
For her win, Williams received two nights accommodation at a Hotel Grand Chancellor, a double 2018 Theatre North Subscription Season Membership, dinner at Avenue Restaurant and Lobby Bar and complimentary wine in the Bakersfield Mist interval.
The finalists received a double pass to the performance and an invitation to the after-show supper to meet the stars.
The Pollock at the Princess exhibition will be on display in the Princess Theatre Stairwell Gallery and Upstairs Foyer. The exhibition will be open between 9am and 4pm on weekdays, 10am to 1pm on Saturdays and during performances.