Winners of the Gippsland Print Award Announced
Gippsland Art Gallery is delighted to announce Melbourne-based artist Rosalind Atkins as the winner of the 2023 Gippsland Print Award.
Sep 4, 2023

Atkins was announced as the recipient of the $5,000 acquisitive national award for printmaking by Wellington Shire Council Mayor, Cr Ian Bye, at the Gallery’s Spring Season Launch on Friday 1 September in front of a capacity audience.

Artist Rosalind Atkins with her winning work, ‘Columns in a Shock of Light’.

Atkins was a selected from a field of 255 entries by artists from across Australia by the judging panel, comprising printmaker, Dr Lesley Duxbury, Artist and Emeritus Professor, RMIT University; Simon Gregg, Director of Gippsland Art Gallery, and Dr Louisa Waters, Coordinator Collections & Exhibitions at Gippsland Art Gallery.

The judges praised the ‘exacting technique’ of Atkins’ winning work ‘Columns in a Shock of Light’, as well as its subject, describing the ‘dense gum trees’ as being a ‘very Gippsland bush’.

They felt the imagery was ‘highly immersive’, noting that ‘it draws you in and then sends you back – the more you look at it the more you see’, adding that ‘it is easy to get lost and entangled in it’.

For the first time in 2023, the Gallery has offered a secondary prize for the Gippsland Print Award, the ‘Pat Waters Prize for Best Gippsland Work’, which is named in honour of one of the region’s pioneer contemporary artists and printmakers Pat Waters (1944–2022).

The inaugural winner of this $1,000 non-acquisitive prize was announced as Maria Fitzgerald, an artist based in Briagolong. The judges praised the ‘painterly quality’ to Maria’s work, titled ‘Night Reflections’, noting how it ‘draws you into the landscape’. They commented that ‘there’s a lot of movement, and a real sense of energy about it’. It was also noted that as a monoprint (a unique-state print), the work ‘has an immediacy to it – it’s not a laborious work, it has a real sense of fluidity to it’. Finally, the judges complimented the ‘evocative’ quality to the work, that rewards long looking.

Artist Maria Fitzgerald with her work ‘Night Reflections’, which was judged as ‘Best Gippsland Work’.

The Gippsland Print Award began in 2015 with Melbourne-based Martin King selected as winner of the inaugural prize, followed by Castlemaine artist Jock Clutterbuck in 2017. The exhibition draws entries from all corners of Australia in a celebration of printmaking in Gippsland. Described by one artist as “every printmaker’s favourite prize”, the Award has since attracted national attention. The winning work of each exhibition is automatically acquired for the Gippsland Art Gallery’s permanent collection.

The 2023 Gippsland Print Award – featuring all 255 entries – is now on display at the Gippsland Art Gallery until 19 November, and entry is free.

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