Nadine Christensen wins R&M McGivern Prize

Melbourne artist takes out the $25,000 acquisitive award.

Words: Lauren Da Silva

Nadine Christensen has been announced as the winner of the prestigious R&M McGivern Prize. The artist will receive $25,000 in prize money and, as an acquisitive prize, her work will be included in a significant collection of Australian Art, the Maroondah City Council Art Collection.

Represented by Adelaide’s Hugo Michell Gallery and Melbourne’s Sarah Scout Presents, Christensen’s practice encompasses painting, installation and drawing. Her work has been described as an investigative foray into natural phenomena, ranging stylistically from representational to pure abstraction and recognizable for its typically flat colouration.

A legacy of the late Muriel Evelyn McGivern, the R&M McGivern Prize is awarded every three years to an original painted work and aims to promote artistic excellence in the medium, as well as produce a high-quality collection for the Maroondah region in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

For the 2019 edition of the Prize, Australian artists were called to respond to the theme Anthropocene, the era in which scientists believe human behaviour began to significantly impact the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Entries subsequently inspired conversations about human impact on the environment, colonialism, industrialisation, sustainability, geology and ecology.

Judges Charlotte Day, director of Monash University of Art, Ryan Johnston, director of Buxton Contemporary Museum, and Penny Teale, curator of Bunjil Place Gallery,   commented that the accomplished piece Hang in there “renders a collision of imagery, scale and painterly planes in a masterfully cohesive fashion,” and that it “reminds us that while life is fleeting and fragile there is hope in the midst of despair”.

The award exhibition shows at ArtSpace at Realm and Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery until 1 February 2020.

Image: Nadine Christensen, Hang in there, 2018. Acrylic on sustainable farmed hoop pine with cedar stretcher, 95 x 80cm.

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