Locals have eyes on the prize

LOCAL TALENT: Culburra Beach artists Glenn Duffield and Warwick Keen are finalists in this year’s Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize.FOUR artists from the Shoalhaven are in the running to win this year’s $20,000 Parliament of NSW Aboriginal Art Prize.
Nanjing Night Net

Warwick Keen, Glenn Duffield and Mark Willers from Culburra Beach and Clive Groves from Bomaderry will attend tonight’s award ceremony at Parliament House to hear the judge’s final verdict.

Now in its sixth year, the Parliament of NSW Art Prize is a $20,000 acquisitive award that recognises the achievements of NSW Aboriginal artists.

The event, which is held in conjunction with NSW Parliament and Campbelltown Arts Centre has this year attracted 43 works by 37 artists in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography and drawing.

It is the sixth time Nowra TAFE teacher Warwick Keen has been shortlisted as a finalist in the exhibition.

Originally from Gunnedah, Mr Keen has been practising art for 35 years and is renowned for his vibrant contemporary paintings and carvings.

“I have been entering since it started and I’ve made the finals every time,” he said.

“One is a digital piece about my identity as a Aboriginal person. I’ve used images of some of my ancestors and a bit of text. It’s called ‘A Question of Identity’.

“The other is more of an abstract piece about assimilation. I call it ‘Almost Assimilated’ and it refers to myself as a person who has almost assimilated but still has roots.”

Fellow Culburra Beach artist Glenn Duffield is slightly more animated about tonight’s ceremony.

It is the first time he has entered his work into a competition and was “speechless” when he found his painting ‘Out of Time’ had been named as a finalist.

“I was ecstatic,” Mr Duffield said.

“Just speechless. I’ve been painting all my life and this is the first thing I have ever entered. But I’m positive Warwick will win it.”

A selection of works from the exhibition will be toured by Museums & Galleries NSW throughout the state in 2010-2012.

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