Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Politics of Mediocrity Threaten Blake Religious Art Prize

By Michael Mullins
On Saturday the main prize of $25,000 was awarded to Melbourne artist Richard Lewer for his hand-drawn animation that depicts the story of elderly Perth man Bernie Erikson, who survived a failed suicide pact with his wife. Lewer said he wanted to raise questions about euthanasia as a live issue in a way that did not judge the morality of Erikson’s actions.
AUSTRALIA---Artists play an important role in deepening our cultural imagination in a way that helps us to see and understand how religion is returning as a social and cultural force to be reckoned with and celebrated. The announcement of the winners of the Blake Prize for religious art is usually a welcome demonstration of the fact that corporate sponsors recognise the role religious imagination has to play in our society. Without a major sponsor for the past seven years the prize is in desperate need of a miracle to maintain its running costs of around $60,000. Pattenden spoke about the ‘big hole’ in the Blake’s finances that needs to be addressed. [link]