2024 La Prairie Art Award goes to Marikit Santiago

The Art Gallery of New South Wales’ award for exceptional Australian women artists has been bestowed on the Sydney-based artist.

Words: Erin Irwin

The third edition of the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ (AGNSW) La Prairie Art Award has announced this year’s winner is to be Marikit Santiago, an accomplished Western Sydney-based Filipina-Australian artist. The acquisitive award showcases work by Australian women artists, and Santiago follows in the footsteps of previous winners Thea Anamara Perkins and Atong Atem.

Santiago’s works A Seat at the Table (Magulang) and A Seat at the Table (Kapatid) will now enter the gallery’s collection, the works conveying emotive depictions of the artist’s family.

“The La Prairie Art Award is a tangible reward for my parents whose sacrifice and hardship in migrating to Australia provided opportunity and the privileges of my upbringing, which, I firmly believe, allowed me to pursue a career in art while raising a family”, says the artist. “It’s fitting that, through the La Prairie Art Award, portraits of migrant parents and their daughters will enter the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales where they will represent the Filipino and migrant communities from Western Sydney. It is a privilege to contribute to the culture of my communities with whom I share all my accomplishments.”

Of the works, Senior Curator of Contemporary Australian Art Beatrice Gralton states that “Marikit’s paintings probe the artist’s relationship between art and life, career and family, myth and reality. Her deeply personal and meticulous practice explores her lived Filipina–Australian experience through the canon of Western art history. These paintings are a love letter to her family, her culture and Australia”.

Santiago already has a number of accolades to her name, having been a three-time Archibald Prize finalist (2016, 2021, 2023) and winner of the 2020 Sir John Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The works will be on display at AGNSW as part of the exhibition Making Worlds, on display until 28 July.

This article was posted 31 March 2024.

Image: Installation view of Marikit Santiago, A Seat at the Table (Magulang), 2022 (left) and A Seat at the Table (Kapatid), 2022, Art Gallery of New South Wales, La Prairie Art Award 2024. Photo: Diana Panuccio. Courtesy: the artist and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

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