Winners announced – 2015 Geelong acquisitive print awards
Posted 26 August 2015
The Geelong Gallery is delighted to announce that Sophie Cape is the 2015 recipient of the $5,000 Geelong acquisitive print award and Deidre Brollo is the 2015 recipient of the $1,500 Ursula Hoff Institute award.
Sophie Cape’s work The devil’s firmament 2014, merges abstraction and figuration and is inspired by external landscapes and the internal workings of the mind. Printed in collaboration with master printer John Loane (himself a winner of the Geelong print prize in 1972), the unique state etching employs the techniques of spit-bite (when acid is dropped or spattered onto the plate) and foul-bite (when an etching ground collapses and allows the acid to attack the plate indiscriminately), as well as carborundum, charcoal, oil, collage, shellac and soil.
The vitality of the mark-making and the vibrancy of select passages, contrast with darker sections while the inclusion of a representation of a human skull—a symbol of the transience of life—is a poignant contrast to the energy and physicality of the work itself. Deidre Brollo’s artist book, Fathom 2013, is concerned with the precarious nature of the sea voyage: the perpetual advance and retreat of the ocean, the fate of vessels and passengers upon it, and the desire to remember or to forget.
Using accounts of maritime disasters obtained from shipping logs, Brollo explores the nature of communication and our capacity to convey meaning, whether over distance or across time. The work exquisitely merges historical texts with sublime imagery of the ocean and rocky shorelines, while various reveals (through porthole-like paper cuts), and the highly considered juxtapositions of texts, imagery and embossed forms make for compelling viewing. The work has a currency when thought about in the context of the precarious nature of journeys undertaken by refugees.
The announcement of the prize-winning works was made by guest judge, Wendy Garden (Senior Curator, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery) at the opening of the exhibition on Friday 21 August. Ms Garden was joined in judging this year’s awards by Geelong Gallery’s Director, Geoffrey Edwards, and Curator, Lisa Sullivan.
About Sophie Cape, Winner—Geelong acquisitive print award, 2015
Sophie Cape is a Sydney-based artist recognised for the intensity of physical and emotional energy expended in producing the abstract landscapes which she refers to as self-portraits created during expeditions where she places herself and her works in extreme environmental conditions. Cape has spent considerable time travelling for artist residencies, throughout Australia, China and Europe. She has been a finalist in a number of national and international prizes, and was the winner of the Portia Geach Portrait Prize People’s choice award (2011) and the John Olsen Prize for figure drawing (2010). She has exhibited widely both locally and internationally and her works are held in significant public and private collections in Australia and overseas. Sophie Cape is represented by Olsen Irwin, Sydney.
About Deidre Brollo, Winner—Ursula Hoff Institute award, 2015
Based in Newcastle, Deidre Brollo works primarily in printmaking, artist books, and installation. In 2007 Brollo received a PhD from the Sydney College of the Arts for her research investigating the effect an individual’s memory has on their perception and experience of art. She has exhibited widely across Australia and has participated in notable group shows internationally. Brollo has been a finalist for numerous highly regarded awards and is represented in a number of public and private collections.
Featured Image: Sophie Cape (printed in collaboration with John Loane)
The devil’s firmament 2014 unique state etching, spit-bite, foul-bite, carborundum, charcoal, oil, collage, shellac and soil; artist proof
Collection: Geelong Gallery Geelong acquisitive print awards (winner), 2015. Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney.
Above image: Deidre Brollo
Fathom 2013 archival pigment prints, papercuts, embossing (artist book); edition 3/7
Collection: Geelong Gallery, Ursula Hoff Institute award (winner), 2015. Reproduced courtesy of the artist.
Exhibition sponsors: Geelong Gallery Grasshoppers, Louise Box, an anonymous donor and the Ursula Hoff Institute (UHI).