Words: Rose of Sharon Leake
The biennial Murray Art Museum Albury National Photography prize judged by Artistic Director Elias Redstone has been awarded to Sydney based artist Debra Phillips. Working primarily in photography, Phillips’ work which landed her the $30,000 first prize investigates charting knowledge systems and instances of natural and man-made patterns of order.
“The Good. The Just. The Beautiful is incredibly compelling; its passionate about the subject matter and the role photography plays in the world today,” says Redstone. “This is a beautiful study of understanding how we come to control the world through measurements and how that can be visualised in a photographic project.”
Phillips’ series was first instigated during a visit to the National Metrology Institute of Germany to observe the processes of manufacturing a perfect silicon sphere, as part of the international Avogadro Project. Now having taken out the oldest acquisitive photography prize in Australia, supported by the MAMA Art foundation, The Good. The Just. The Beautiful will join the MAMA collection to continue its strong focus on photography.
The selection panel for this year’s Prize included Isobel Parker Philip, Senior Curator Contemporary Australian Art at Art Gallery of NSW, Michael Moran MAMA Curator, and Amanda Williams, recipient of the National Photography Prize 2018.
With MAMA reopening on Monday 1 June 2020, the exhibition of the 12 finalists’ work has been extended to Sunday 14 June.
The finalists include: Anthea Behm, Danica Chappell, Elise Harmsen, Ali McCann, Hayley Millar-Baker, Kent Morris, Sarah Mosca, Phuong Ngo, Lillian O’Neil, Emma Phillips, Debra Phillips, and Justine Varga.
Image: Debra Phillips, Untitled (Constant #2b) from The Good. The Just. The Beautiful, 2017. Gelatin silver photograph, selenium toned, 87 x 101cm. Courtesy the artist and Kronenberg Mais Wright, Sydney.