Words: Charlotte Middleton
Fremantle-based artist Jacobus Capone has been awarded the top prize in the 75th annual Mosman Art Prize for his poetic work Spring 2021, which combines fallen golden wattle with seawater in an ethereal, shimmering painting.
Represented by Moore Contemporary, with a practice spanning performance-based video works, photography, installation, and painting, Capone’s winning work embodies his enduring examination of the environment.
“Each day of October 2021 a daily ritual was adhered to,” explained the artist. “Fallen golden wattle was collected at dawn. Seawater at dusk. An infusion from the two sources was made each night to make a painterly wash in honour of the spring landscape. A specific paint for that day, sourced from a different tree, a different location. 29 washes were made, indicative of Spring. They were applied individually on a daily basis to the canvas.”
Australia’s oldest and most recognised local government art award, the acquisitive $50,000 prize was this year judged by Rhana Devenport ONZM, Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia.
“Jacobus Capone has earned great respect over recent years for his attentive time-based works that take the measure of time and register human presence in the natural environment,” Devenport commented.
“This transcendent work, simply entitled Spring 2021, extends the possibility of painting by bypassing the intermediary medium of conventional paint itself, in favour of embracing the pure form of natural substances gathered through circadian performance.”
The work now enters the celebrated Mosman Art Collection, surveying Australian painting since 1947, when Margaret Olley was the first artist to win the award.
With a total prize pool of $61,000, further awards presented at the prize ceremony on 26 August included the $6,000 Margaret Olley Commendation Award, given to Dianne Tchumut (Mulingi, NT); the Allan Gamble Award (for built environment) valued at $3,000 won by Eliza Gosse (Sydney); and the $2,000 Guy Warren Emerging Artists’ Award, presented to Sebastian Galloway (Hobart).
The Mosman Art Prize attracted over 840 entries from across Australia in 2022, with 91 paintings selected for the finalist exhibition.
“The quality of this year’s works is outstanding with this exhibition providing a national survey of contemporary painting practices,” said John Cheeseman, Director, Mosman Art Gallery. “Rhana Devenport ONZM has reviewed all 845 submissions and has done a phenomenal job in selecting all 91 finalists and in adjudicating the winning entries. Artists should be thrilled by their achievement in being selected and audiences will be treated to seeing some of the most exciting artworks being made in Australia today.”
The award exhibition, titled 75 Years of the Mosman Art Prize is on view until 2 October 2022 at Mosman Art Gallery, 1 Art Gallery Way, Mosman NSW 2088.
Exhibition is free to the public, and visitors can vote for the Viewers’ Choice Award, which will be announced prior to the exhibition closing.
This article was posted 7 September 2022.
Image: Jacobus Capone with his winning entry ‘Spring 2021’.