The three major inaugural Visual Arts Biennial awards announced during the Festival were bestowed on the following artists:
The Dominique Segan Castlemaine Visual Arts Biennial Award
Noah Grosz, Blockie, 2009
Noah's Blockie is a reproduction of a 1934 Ford Coupe, inspired by Castlemaine's hot rodding car culture. Blockie was made over a period of 4 months with Phragmites Australis, a locally sourced reed that was once used by the indigenous community for aesthetic and practical purposes. Blockie was selected on the criteria of recognising excellence on the theme of the Visual Arts Biennial, the Art of Making: invention and artisanship. It was selected by the esteemed curators of the Visual Arts Biennial, Dr Chris McAuliffe, the Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Modern Art; Kevin Murray, the former Director of Craft Victoria and an Independent Curator and Project Manager; and Julie Millowick, a respected Photographer, Curator and Castlemaine State Festival Board member and initiator of the Julie Millowick Photographic Prize for under 25s. The Castlemaine State Festival's founding patron Berek Segan AM OBE and Marysia Segan are very proud to see $5,000 dedicated to the newly created Dominique Segan Castlemaine Visual Arts Biennial Award.
The Rusden House Acquisitive Award
Kynan Sutherland, Red Knob Gold Mine, 2008
Kynan's pencil drawing reflects the landscape of Central Victoria, with its rich heritage of granite and gold mining, providing a unique landscape to inspire his delicate light-filled work. Kynan has invented his own method of surface preparation which creates a textured surface to draw on by coating and sanding canvas, until a plaster-like surface remains on which to draw. In Red Knob Gold Mine, Kynan has drawn a series of fine pencil markings of sticks that create an overall sense of a complex landscape. The Rusden House has awarded Kynan their $2000 Acquisitive Award. The prize-winning work will be housed in the Monash University Collection and will be placed in the Clayton Campus.
The Melbourne Art Rooms (MARS) Exhibition Award
James Kenyon, Extremely quiet and incredibly far away, 2009
Extremely quiet and incredibly far away is taken from James' current project, The Lost City of Adelaide, exploring the proposition that there was once a wonderful and vast utopian civilisation called 'Adelaide' that happened to exist, coincidently, a thousand years ago on the exact same site as the present Adelaide. James plays the archaeologist/historian and has dedicated himself to recovering and preserving artefacts from the lost city of Adelaide. Melbourne Art Rooms (MARS) in Port Melbourne has awarded James the opportunity to exhibit at MARS in 2009.