Painting prize winner announced

November 25, 2021 BY

Prize piece: Melbourne painter Kirsty Budge’s work OK, so is this another fresh hell or are we adding to another one today won the 2021 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize. Photo: SUPPLIED

POP into the Bendigo Art Gallery from now until 13 February to check out the 2021 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize finalists’ exhibition, including the winning work from Melbourne artist Kirsty Budge.

Budge took out the $50,000 prize for her painting OK, so is this another fresh hell or are we adding to another one today; a reflection of her experience during COVID-19 lockdowns.

“This painting has its own logic and it was a way to cope, to practice acceptance and to surrender to what was happening around me,” she said.

“It also felt like a form of communication because I have found it really hard to talk during this time.

“We were all in this inky abyss and trying to stay afloat. My closest people know that if I’m painting then I’m doing ok.”

Judges, including Bendigo Art Gallery director Jessica Bridgfoot, commended Budge on her painting’s composition and style, complimenting her “ambiguous mix of figuration, abstraction, personal narrative and landscape.

“Through a confident application of colour, line and tone, recognisable symbols and motifs slip in and out of our recognition,” the judges said in a joint statement.

“Kirsty shows a wonderful painterly capacity to push and pull space. You sense a real enjoyment in the process of making.

“This is clearly a painting in dialogue with history, while also resonating with our current times, bringing forth its own sense of landscape and narrative.”

Held every two years since 2003, the AGMPP finalists’ exhibition allows Bendigo Art Gallery to showcase established and emerging artists from across Australia.

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