Euan Macleod snaps up another major prize

NAS announces the artist as winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize 2021.

Words: Zeyneb Mohammed

The National Art School (NAS) announced Euan Macleod as the winner of the Dobell Drawing Prize #22. Of the 64 finalists, guest judge and artist Lucy Culliton selected Macleod’s pastel on paper work Borderlands – Between NSW and QLD for the top prize. Macleod received $30,000 prize money and the winning work will enter the National Art School Collection. Artists Amanda Penrose Hart, Leonardo Uribe and Martin King were awarded highly commended. This year’s iteration of the prize received a record amount of entires at 942, with a diverse array of expanded drawing practices represented including in the mediums of weaving, ceramics, sculpture, video and performance, among others.

Culliton congratulated Macleod and stated, “Euan’s work is fast and immediate drawing, describing a landscape in a blur of activity, with an accurate freshness I am drawn to.”

Regarding the inspiration behind his winning artwork, Euan said: “In Australia COVID has (among many other things) made us aware of borders that had seemed not much more than lines on a map. Shutting the borders reminds us how much these lines can separate people, something rarely seen in Australia, but becoming even more common globally. This series of drawings were done during a brief opening of the border between Queensland and New South Wales in July last year. All of them were drawn on the spot as we travelled backwards and forwards. I like the idea of assembling them together in no particular order, the parts adding to a unified whole.”

Macleod has previously won the Archibald in 1999, the Sulman Prize in 2001, the Blake Prize in 2006, the NSW Parliament’s inaugural Plein Air painting prize in 2008, the Tattersall’s Landscape Prize in 2000 and 2009, the Gallipoli Art Prize in 2009, and the King’s School Art Prize in 2011.

Presented by NAS in partnership with the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation, the Dobell Drawing Prize explores the importance of drawing within a contemporary setting. While NAS first hosted the Dobell Drawing Prize in 2019, it was established in 1993 and until 2012, was previously presented by the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The Dobell Drawing Prize #22 exhibition shows at NAS Gallery from 26 March to 22 May 2021.

Image: Euan Macleod with his winning work Borderlands – Between NSW and QLD. Courtesy: the artist.

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