Exhibition News

Winner of the Metro 5 $40,000 Award Anounced

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Published Wednesday, 16 February 2005

An ex Israeli Army soldier, 33-year-old Tamir David from Bondi Beach, has won this year’s Metro 5 Art Award Judges’ Prize worth $40,000. The winner of the $10,000 People’s Choice category is 28-year-old Queensland artist, VR Morrison.

An ex Israeli Army soldier, 33-year-old Tamir David from Bondi Beach, has won this year’s Metro 5 Art Award Judges’ Prize worth $40,000. The winner of the $10,000 People’s Choice category is 28-year-old Queensland artist, VR Morrison.

The awards were announced today at Metro 5 Gallery in Melbourne by former Victorian Premier and 2005 Selection Committee member, the Honourable Jeffrey Kennett, AC. The winners were chosen from over 400 entries from around Australia.

Tamir’s painting, Earth, is a mixed media work on cardboard featuring a striking portrait of an indigenous woman. Tamir, who was born in Israel, is a self-taught artist who developed a “passion for the female form” after joining a life drawing group at the age of 12.

He says his work reveals a narrative quality and is imbued with urban symbolism that is both evocative and visually compelling.

My work surrounds the viewer with beauty through the use of colour and form, with an underlying emotional tenor based on complete understanding of various cultures, he said.

Currently Tammir is living and working in Australia, where his work was chosen as a backdrop for the NSW Multicultural Festival. He has been exhibiting in several solo and group shows. Tamir’s work featured in a group exhibition in Agora Gallery, New York in 2003 and created strong interest among collectors. Recently, Tamir has been invited to exhibit in the Florence Biennale in December 2005

In what will be a double celebration, VR Morrison turns 29 tomorrow with a $10,000 cheque for a birthday present. Her painting, Trouble in Emmaus, is a modern re-working of Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus from 1601.

Trouble in Emmaus is about my moral confusion. I feel overwhelmed by what is happening in the world around me. A religion of consumerism and greed surrounds us and I feel spiritually blinded. I am constantly seduced, lured and feel craving for meaningless items to own. I want what I see, I want what I don't have and I want what others have around me, she explains.

Over 4,000 members of the Melbourne public voted for their favourite painting, with just a handful of votes separating the final five.

Runners-up in the People’s Choice were Michael Peck from Victoria, Anthony Lister from Queensland, Kate Stevens from New South Wales and Simeon Walker from Victoria.

Speaking after a marathon judging session, Chairman of the 2005 Selection Committee, Victor Rubin, said Tamir’s painting was the unanimous winner from a very, very strong field of entries.

It’s a wonderful painting that from different distances and under different lights, takes on many different forms. It has a remarkable abstract, almost graffiti-like quality, that expresses beautifully the indigenous female subject, Mr Rubin said.

Fellow judge, Mr Kennett, said the People’s Choice winner was a bold and brave painting that brought a certain Playboy element to the old masters.

It’s a technically well executed piece that uses the old style composition of one of the world’s greatest artists to interpret a modern day theme and setting, he said.

Mr Kennett congratulated the 23 finalists for the extremely high quality of their entries, which made the judging process very difficult indeed.

Along with Mr Kennett and Victor Rubin, fellow Selection Committee members included arts writer Suzanne Playfoot, graphic designer and art collector Mark Cowen and Melbourne Fringe Festival General Manager Alicia Darvall.

Metro 5 Chairman, Dr Michael Nissen congratulated the winners and finalists on their achievements.

We hope their success in 2005 will act as an encouragement for all emerging young artists in Australia today, he said.

All works by the finalists will be exhibited at the gallery until 27 February and most will be for sale at prices as set by the artists. The winning paintings will be acquired by Metro 5 Gallery.

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