JEFA Gallery is very excited to announce and congratulate Blak Douglas on his entries into two fantastic art prizes: The Kilgour, now in its ninth year and run by the Newcastle Art Gallery NSW, with a $50,000 purse; and The Kings Art Prize Sydney, now in its 25th year, with a $20,000 purse.
The winner of the Kilgour will be announced on the 2nd August and Blak’s entry – a portrait of Ursula Yovich ‘Queen of Her Own Stage’ – is another fantastic example of Blak at his best, and well within a chance to win this prestigious prize.
Of the piece, Blak says “My dear friend Ursula Yovich depicted in ochres highlighting her tribal origins of the Larrakia nation (Darwin). I’d originally staged the photographic portrait outside the Performance Space at Lilyfield in Sydney. She was rehearsing for ‘Man with the Iron Neck’ and it was a particularly hot day. She exited the space and began jumping around on the hot pavers so I grabbed the chair and suggested standing upon it. This immediately became an unassuming metaphor being – we (Indigenous peoples) STILL must go to great lengths to be heard on our own land.”
The Kings Art Prize is an acquisitive prize, into which Blak has entered a landscape – ‘Illegal Move’ (pictured).
“Over the years I’ve indulged in many a great texts from both sides of the fence, pertaining to the establishment of colonial ‘Australia’.” Blak notes. “One only has to read ‘The Roving Party’ (Rohan Wilson, 2011) to lose all respect for any Caucasian male proclaiming to be a great adventurer / explorer / founder. Trespasser if you will. The pompousness by which these obnoxious individuals traversed the landscape, recording their naive accounts of the natives, validates just how the great Australian bigot has been fertilised into a blossoming embarrassment.”
So far in 2019 Blak Douglas has already been a finalist in three major art prizes, including the Archibald with a portrait of Aunty Esme.
Currently JEFA Gallery has a number of Blak’s artworks available and will be holding a solo exhibition later this year. WATCH THIS SPACE!