The Warrnibald Prize 2020 Winners Announced!

The winners of the 2020 Warrnibald Prize Winners were announced on the evening of Friday 24th July via video on Warrnambool Art Gallery (WAG) Facebook and Website.

The decision to celebrate the award through a digital award ceremony came as a result of Covid-19. “We decided to undertake a digital award ceremony to ensure that the artists, sitters and public are able to safely participate in the awards evening.” said WAG Gallery Director Vanessa Gerrans.

Guest judges, Simon Lawrie, Curator McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery; Carmel Wallace, Independent Artist; and Joshua White, Artistic Director Hamilton Gallery, awarded the first prize of $2000 to Karen Richards for her portrait of Des Bunyon titled “Des.”

Judge Simon Lawrie celebrated Karen’s work. “While small in scale, Karen Richard’s embroidery titled ‘Des’ is meticulously executed in vibrant detail. The delicate intimacy of the embroidery craft relates to the close personal involvement of the portrait’s sitter Des Bunyon and his importance to the community fabric of Warrnambool.”

Warrnambool’s Des Bunyon, “is simultaneously a quiet force and a harmony for Warrnambool. His contributions are many and likely far more than anyone knows” writes Karen Richards. Following on “Des is an adventurer, musician, visual artist, film lover, art curator, working bee contributor, artist, pet lover, art collector, song writer, advocate, enthusiast and behind the scenes contributor as well as life partner to the similarly wonderful Helen. Des can be found at openings, performances, film, markets and community consultations. His friendly smile and enchanting stories are a welcome encounter. His presence and beautiful singing voice weave this place together.”

Second prize of $500 was awarded to Elisabeth Claire Macrae-Drylie for her portrait titled “The Terrier” featuring local journalist Carol Altmann.

Judge Carmel Wallace commented: “So many facets of character are revealed through contemplation of this rather unorthodox portrait with its carefully selected array of objects skilfully brought together to create a compelling statement of tribute to a person the artist obviously holds in high esteem.” She said.

WAG Gallery Director Vanessa Gerrans congratulated this year’s 46 artists and their subjects, ‘the portraits in this exhibition are all extremely accomplished and a fantastic display of the strength of South West artists” she said.

“Warrnambool should be very proud. It is the people who do their jobs exceptionally well and the volunteers who go beyond the call of duty that makes Warrnambool a vibrant city.”

The Warrnibald Prize 2020 is presented in partnership with are-able and helps to raise funds for are-able’s ArtLink program, which assists people of all abilities to achieve their potential.

Tom Scarborough are-able CEO said, “are-able is delighted to partner with The WAG to present The Warrnibald Prize 2020. This is my first year viewing the Warrnibald and I’m just blown away by the exhibition. It is wonderful to see the talent of artists and the stories, both humble and exceptional of our South West community members depicted through these portraits. As a part of our ArtLink program, we encourage people with a disability to express themselves visually through art in a supported environment. The Warrnibald is a great platform for artists to display their work and connect with the community.”

Included in this year’s show are a wide variety of local identities, from front line nurses to social workers and advocates for diversity and social justice.

The Warrnibald Prize 2020 is available to view at the Warrnambool Art Gallery as well as online via thewag.com.au

Voting for the 2020 Archibool, People’s Choice Prize is now open online and in the gallery and will close Sunday 6th September at 10am, the winners will be announced Sunday 6th September 2pm.