Wynne Prize 2015: Winner

Natasha Bieniek

18 Jul - 27 Sep 2015

We are very proud to announce Natasha Bieniek is the winner of the $50,000 Wynne Prize for her exquisite landscape painting ´Biophilia’.

Bieniek’s miniature sized oil paintings are painted with meticulous precision. These jewel-like works offer a contemporary take on historical painting traditions of illuminated manuscripts and miniature portraits of the 16th century. Their diminutive scale and glossy surfaces also reflect on the way we view images today, bringing to mind smart phones and tablet screens. Her most recent paintings explore the relationship between human beings and the natural world.

‘I’m particularly interested in the impact of nature within an urban environment. My miniature oil painting, Biophilia, is part of a recent series that explores the way humans relate to the natural world. Biophilia literally means ‘love of life’ and references a scientific study that suggests our tendency to affiliate with nature is inherent and integral to our psychological and physical development. The inner-city landscape depicted in my painting illustrates a sense of tranquility that contrasts with its active surroundings. My intention is to draw focus on such diverse pockets of nature, and present the idea that we, as humans, are not above nature but very much a part of it.’

Natasha’s winning painting and the work of the other finalists in the Wynne, Archibald and Sulman Prizes – including works by Juan Ford, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Marcel Cousins and Neil Haddon – can be seen at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until 27 September 2015.

THIS IS NO FANTASY + Dianne Tanzer Gallery will present a solo exhibition of Bieniek’s paintings at Sydney Contemporary in September. Please contact the gallery for an early preview of the exhibition.