Jobs Events Advertise

Maree Clarke wins 2023 Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture

Phoebe Blogg -
vic

Last week, proud Mutti Mutti/Yorta Yorta and Boon Wurrung/Wemba Wemba woman, Maree Clarke, won the $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture for 2023.

Known as a pivotal figure in the Victorian Indigenous art scene since the 1990s, Clarke has emerged as a leader, helping to nurture and promote the diversity of contemporary Southeast Aboriginal artists.

She has been instrumental in the reclamation of southeast Australian Aboriginal art practices, reviving elements of Aboriginal culture that were lost – or lying dormant.

Ms Clarke's public art, sculpture, painting, and multimedia installations of painting and photography also further explore the customary ceremonies, rituals and language of her ancestors.

Despite growing up in the northwest of Victoria, the talented creative has been practising art and living in Melbourne for the past three decades. Having exhibited both nationally and internationally, Clarke has secured herself as a prominent First Nations creative.

"My art is about regenerating cultural practices, making people aware of, you know, our culture, and that we are a really strong culture, and that we haven't lost anything; I think they've just been, some of these practises have been laying dormant for a while," said Ms Clarke.

Maree Clarke Ancestral Memory 2019. (Image: Tom Ross)

With the 2023 judging panel including several respected creatives, Clarke and the other entrants were judged by some of the industry's best. The 2023 judging panel featured arts sector professionals such as Emily Floyd (artist), Kate Ten Buuren (Senior Curator, First Nations, Melbourne Arts Precinct) and Katharina Prugger (Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Victoria).

"The judges had an extremely challenging task this year due to the impressive calibre of entries," said The Trust's founder and executive director, Simon Warrender OAM.

Supported by Major Patron, The Vera Moore Foundation and Fed Square this year entrants were asked to provide information on how the prize funds would be used on clearly defined initiative/s or project/s that will develop the entrant's practice and further build on their previous professional work.

An Augmented Reality Finalists' Exhibition showcasing the four finalists was also on show at Foundation Events Partner, Fed Square. This strived to highlight the work of finalists Kent Morris, Vipoo Srivilasa and Joy Zou.

"The prize has been well received this year by the local artist community and I want to thank all entrants and congratulate the four esteemed finalists and the winner," said Melbourne Prize Trust chairman, Janine Kirk AO.

Maree Clarke. (Image: Vivien Anderson Gallery)

"Our 2023 Melbourne Prize winner is a talented artist who has made a significant contribution to Melbourne's vibrant art scene. I would also like to congratulate all the finalists. This important prize recognises exceptional skill and we look forward to seeing what they achieve in the future," said Melbourne lord mayor Sally Capp.

Since its inception, the annual Melbourne Prize has operated in a three-year cycle, including the Melbourne Prize for Urban Sculpture (2023), the Melbourne Prize for Literature (2024) and the Melbourne Prize for Music (2025).

The annual Melbourne Prize has also made available more than $2 million in prizes, residencies, equipment grants and an annual public exhibition and presentation at Fed Square to showcase Victorian writers, sculptors and musicians.

For more fashion, beauty and lifestyle news subscribe for free to the Style Up newsletter.

   Related   

Directions hearings continue ahead of inquest into 2021 death in custody of young mum
The latest directions hearings concerning a 30-year-old Yamatji, Noongar, Wongi and Pitjantjatjara woman who died in custody at...
Jarred Cross 23 Feb 2024
International Mother Language Day to see calls for dual naming policies across Australia
Victoria's First Peoples’ Assembly will mark International Mother Language Day on Wednesday by calling for governments and other...
Dechlan Brennan 21 Feb 2024
New pilot program to help combat domestic and family violence
The Victorian government has announced a new pilot program with Aboriginal service Dardi Munwurro to tackle family and domestic...
Dechlan Brennan 20 Feb 2024
Monash Health charged over Indigenous woman’s hospital death
WARNING: This story contains the name of an Aboriginal person who has passed. Victoria's largest public health service is facin...
Dechlan Brennan 19 Feb 2024

   Phoebe Blogg   

First Nations artist Amanda Hinklemann collaborates with popular swimwear brand, Baiia
Described as a wearable celebration of community, feminine resilience, and women’s innate ability to support and uplift one anot...
Phoebe Blogg 21 Feb 2024
Ikuntji Artists announced as 2024 National Designer Award finalist
Striving to celebrate Australia’s top-performing emerging designers, the National Designer Award is returning for yet another ye...
Phoebe Blogg 15 Feb 2024
Independent First Nations artists to shine at Cairns Indigenous Art Fair
In addition to their textile and design program BLOOM, the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair (CIAF) is also hosting their new CATAPULT...
Phoebe Blogg 14 Feb 2024
Annual NAIDOC Week poster competition opens to the public
The National NAIDOC committee has has announced the opening of its annual National NAIDOC Week Poster Competition. The 2024 the...
Phoebe Blogg 14 Feb 2024