Banyule Award for Works on Paper 2021: Winner – Main Acquisitive Prize

Phuong Ngo

14 Jan - 13 Mar 2022

The Banyule Award for Works on Paper is a $10,000 national acquisitive art prize awarded biennially to an outstanding contemporary work on paper.

The 2021 theme was ‘Community’, and in this new COVID world, we asked artists to consider what community means to them, and to provide us with inspiration and reflection through their various artworks. The artists in this exhibition have responded with a multitude of differing approaches to the theme. Artists responded to lockdowns by using what they could find at hand to make art, and expressed the loss of community; whilst others made art of the parklands they found themselves escaping to on a daily basis – common threads of making art through the repetitiveness of daily life during pandemic lockdowns. Some of the artists made work about helping or participating in community to help others through these difficult times, and other artworks were simply borne from living in community, sharing cultural stories, or are expressions of a particular community. Other responses include the consideration of nonhuman, plant and animal communities, and some simply contemplated the importance of connections – the vital link that creates community

About the artwork:

We live in an ever-failing state of existence, the privatisation of racism (neo-liberalism), and the growing divide between who is or isn’t deserving has been a persistent problem on a local, national and international scale. COVID-19 has exposed this for what it is. Early responses by Australian Governments to COVID-19 clearly highlighted the racialised and classist nature of our society.

This work documents a year’s worth of mutual aid provided by IRL infoshop during pandemic induced lockdowns. This humble work of 354 individual photographs of receipts, documents $100,000 of community aid given to those left out of state and federal support. This project responded through a commissioning process, where the commissioning fee was given to IRL in return for their receipts. Profits generated from the work will go to sustaining IRL’s work in the community.