Words: Adriana Borsey
Adelaide/Melbourne-based artist Emmaline Zanelli has taken out first prize in the churchie emerging art prize 2022 at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA), judged by Sebastian Goldspink, Sydney-based independent curator and the curator of the 2022 Adelaide Biennial: Free/State.
Dynamic Drills (2020–2021) is a 30-minute choreographed video montage, that explores themes of labour, family relationships, and the connection between the body and the machine. The work draws on the artist’s paternal grandmother, Mila Zanelli, and her history as a manufacturing worker.
Of the winning work, Goldspink said: “Drawing on the aesthetics and politics of Italian Futurism, Zanelli evokes memory through movement and intergenerational knowledge through exchange and is reflective of an Australia that I want to endorse, pluralistic rather than defined by one type of ‘Australianness’”.
Zanelli is challenging ideas surrounding memory, worth/value, and legacy whilst proposing that ‘memory is a group exercise, and furthermore, it is work’.
In addition to the Major Prize, a Special Commendation Prize of $5,000, sponsored by Fardoulys Constructions, was awarded to Perth-based artist Emma Buswell.
Two further Commendation prizes of $1,000, sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services, were awarded to Norton Fredericks, and Kevin Diallo.
The prize winners were selected from 12 Finalists whose artworks are now on display in an exhibition at Fortitude Valley’s Institute of Modern Art, curated by emerging Sri Lankan-Australian curator Elena Dias-Jayasinha.
Dias-Jayasinha said, “this year’s entries boldly speak to the issues of contemporary society: systems of authority, identity, culture, place and sustainable artistic practice.”
The twelve finalists are: Darcey Bella Arnold, Emma Buswell, Jo Chew, Kevin Diallo, Norton Fredericks, Jan Gunjaka Griffiths, Jacquie Meng, Daniel Sherington, Linda Sok, Lillian Whitaker, Agus Wijaya, and Emmaline Zanelli.
Spanning diverse mediums, the finalists were selected from almost 400 original entries. “Despite tackling confronting issues, the works remain grounded and personal, and hint at an optimistic future,” Dias-Jayasinha said.
Gallery visitors are invited to cast their votes for the $3,000 People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Madison Cleaning Services, to be announced at the conclusion of the exhibition on 1 October.
This article was posted 2 September 2022.
Image: Emmaline Zanelli, Crash Factory, 2021. Video Still (detail). Courtesy the artist.