Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Australia's other religious art award, the Blake Prize 2018 is depressing

By John McDonald
Blake Prize 2018 winner Tina Havelock Stevens in front of her six-minute video Giant Rock.
SYDNEY, AU---It's been seven years since I last wrote about the Blake Prize, which seemed to have reached a point where it couldn't get any worse. The good news is that it hasn't gotten worse: it's just as bad as it was seven years ago. When it was founded in 1951 the Blake Prize was intended to revitalise religious art – another genre felt to be threatened by the relentless progress of Modernism. How clean-cut those days appear from a contemporary perspective! There was a simple opposition of communism v capitalism, while Christianity was enshrined as the in-house religion of the western world. Nowadays our communities are a complex tangle of religious and political ideas. The top prize of $35,000 went to Tina Havelock Stevens for a six-minute video entitled Giant Rock. It's depressing to think that of all the entries in the Blake, this dull video with a dumb, poorly written explanation should have impressed the judges most. [More]