Hadley’s Art Prize 2021 winner announced

Hobart-based photographer David Stephenson takes out $100,000 acquisitive landscape prize.

Words: Charlotte Middleton

Hadley’s Art Prize, Hobart, has announced David Stephenson as the winner of its 2021 Australian Landscape Prize, for his photographic artwork titled Time Slice: Bradys Lake – every minute from 12:26pm 1/1/2021 to 4:51pm 2/1/2021. Presented by Hadley’s Orient Hotel, the acquisitive prize offers $100,000 to the winning entry.

Hadley’s Art Prize continues Hadley’s Orient Hotel’s long history of promoting the arts, with the aim to celebrate the work of contemporary Australian landscape artists. Judged by a panel of art specialists, the prize is open to Australian artists over the age of eighteen and at all career stages, working in two-dimensional media.

This year’s panel – comprising curator Peter McKay, Barkandji artist, curator, writer, and educator Nici Cumpston, and artist Michaye Boulter – chose Stephenson’s unconventional take on landscape photography from a record number of 721 entries.

“Through the constellation of over 2000 time-lapse images, this work draws us in to contemplate a visual record of Brady’s Lake over 28 hours and 25 minutes,” said the judges.

“There is a philosophical investment in making this image – rather than pursuing a singular ideal representation, it’s more about making change present. This image has a memory which we see through the ever-changing light of day. Drawing on Romantic tropes, Stephenson gives voice to nature. The wattle tree stands sentinel over the lake, a witness to the gestural movement of weather patterns across multiple frequencies.

We’re excited this artwork will become a part of the growing art collection at Hadley’s.”

With a career spanning four decades, Stephenson has been creating time-lapse images and videos drawn from both urban and natural environments since 2014.

The American-born, Hobart-based artist’s winning work appears alongside the 32 other finalist entries in the Finalists’ exhibition, running until 29 August 2021 at Hadley’s Orient Hotel, Hobart.

David Stephenson is represented by Bett Gallery, Hobart; Julie Saul Projects, New York; Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta; and Boutwell Schabrowsky, Munich.

This article was originally published 3 August 2021.

Image: David Stephenson, Time Slice: Bradys Lake – every minute from 12:26pm 1/1/2021 to 4:51pm 2/1/2021, 2021. Pigment ink print from digital composite of 2064 individual time-lapse images, framed 105 x 145cm. 

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