2019 Muswellbrook Art Prize

Guest adjudicator, Natalie Wilson, Curator of Australian & Pacific art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, announced the following winning entries from each prize category on Saturday 9 March 2019. Congratulations and thank you to all who entered the competition.

  • Merran Esson, Trees of the Monaro

    Merran Esson, Trees of the Monaro

    Stoneware, copper glaze, 39 x 70 x 55cm.

    Many journeys have informed this work; influences from road trips through the Monaro area in NSW, time spent in Cézanne’s Provence in Southern France, and the cactus of Mexico. These
    realise an abstract simplification that triggers one’s own sensations. They are the thoughts that keep the traveller awake through the miles traversed to get there, and they are the passing images that become familiar and permeate the creative processes that inform this art. They are voluptuous forms that speak of passion and longing, but are pierced with signs of loss.

  • Sacha Pola, Having Reached Utopia, It Was Then Time

    Sacha Pola, Having Reached Utopia, It Was Then Time


    2018 │acrylic and conté crayon on canvas, 135 x 165cm.
    This work merges the Classicism and Neo-Classicism (Romanticism) of Western Europe with Asian visual traditions, invoking notions of the Divine that are as fundamental as they are vague.
    It employs a visual language and philosophy that I have been cultivating over the course of my career, and aims at re-energising the narrative tradition. The image conflates contemporary and classical iconography and reflects a pop-digital age in which excess is standard, and both the natural world, and human civilisation, await renewal.

  • Martin King, Recess

    Martin King, Recess

    Work on Paper

    2018, graphite on drafting film, watercolour and pigment on paper, 144.5 x 189.5cm

    Recess I is part of a series of work that fuses aspects and representations of Australian landscape. Images from early colonial depictions of fauna, 19th century paintings of landscape
    including William Strutt and Eugene Von Guerard reappear as contemporary visions of a mixed up world.

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