The 42nd Alice Prize – 2022

Judge – Lara Merrington

Lara has over ten years’ experience working in the visual arts across diverse sectors such as non-for-profit, local council, University and independently run museums and galleries. She holds particular interest in contemporary art, design, ceramics and photography. Lara also has extensive experience collaborating with arts festivals, exhibitions and projects around Australia and internationally including curatorial residencies in Peru, Argentina and Colombia and Berlin.

In 2019 she was selected as an Exhibitions Team Leader at the Australia Pavilion for the 58th Venice Biennale. In the same year she received the Cross Family fellowship for overseas professional development, administered by the Australia Council for the Arts. Currently she is Curator at Snøhetta, Australasia. Previously she has held positions such as Curator at SAM; Shepparton Art Museum (VIC), Assistant Curator at JamFactory: Art, Craft + Design (SA), and Manager and Curator at SAVVY Contemporary; Berlin.

Lara holds a Graduate Certificate in Art History and Curatorial Studies from the University of Adelaide (2018), a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Hons.) specialising in Photography from the University of South Australia (2008), an Associate degree in Languages and Cultural studies from University of South Australia, and a certificate of Exhibition Design from NODE centre for curatorial studies, Berlin (2017).

Selection Panel

Alison is a visual artist whose work blurs the line between studio, community and social/political art practice. Primarily known for her political screen prints, Alison also uses animation, video and installations to make her point.

Alison’s work has been exhibited in several key Australian exhibitions including, amongst others, Know My Name at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), Making It New: Focus on Contemporary Australian Art at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney) and See You at the Barricades at the Art Gallery of NSW. She has won numerous awards and prizes including the Alice Prize in 2010.

Alison’s work is held in major Australian public collections including the National Gallery of Australia, most State galleries, numerous regional galleries, including the Alice Springs collection, and many private collections, like, for example, the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art. In the USA her work is held in the collections of the Centre for the Study of Political Graphics, the Interference Archive and the New York Public Library Print Collection.

Alison is an Honorary Associate Professor at the Australian National University, School of Art and Design after retiring from her position as head of the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop. She is currently researching and developing a series of artworks which reflect on Australia’s democratic processes and history, assisted by the Australian Parliament House Library through a Parliamentary Library Associateship.

Award winning artist Vincent Fantauzzo is world renowned for his adept skill in portraiture and photography.

Mostly recognised for traditional portraiture, in painting and sculpture work. His portraits are painted with contrasting elements of light; they show much dignity, nobleness and focus on the more human and inner essence of his sitter’s character. They also draw on cinema and photography to create a narrative in the Grand Manner, a style derived from the classical art of the Renaissance.

His growing body of work has been exhibited internationally with shows in India, Vietnam, New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Australia. In 2011, he won the prestigious Doug Moran Portrait Prize for his moving depiction of Baz Luhrmann. He painted thirty portraits in thirty days in Hong Kong, New York and Australia, and has painted murals on walls in many countries around the world.

His most recent work of actor Hugh Jackman was commissioned and acquired by the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.

He has won the Packing Room prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and been awarded the Archibald People’s Choice more than any other artist.

Lucy first came to Alice Springs in 1996 to work as the Visual Arts Coordinator at the Araluen Arts Centre, since then she has held arts coordination / management roles in the NT and in Tasmania, including with Arts NT, Tasmanian Regional Arts and RedHot Arts. Her arts board experience includes Regional Arts Australia, Watch This Space ARI and RedHOT Arts Central Australia, where she is currently the Vice Chair and a member of the Alice Desert Festival’s 2021 Programing Committee. In 2009, Lucy gave up her full time day job driving an arts desk and went back to school where she re-trained as a teacher. Working at the town’s only public senior college, she is now an Assistant Principal, arts senior and a year 12 arts / media teacher.

For over 20 years, she has coordinated arts projects that support increased awareness of Mparntwe sacred sites. Most significantly through the development of the Yeperenye Sculpture and the Alice to Mparntwe Sacred Sites Tours for Artists that have been running since 2007, coordinated with fellow artist Dan Murphy and senior custodian Doris Stuart Kngwarreye. Two major group exhibitions have been curated from these tours, at Araluen in 2010 & Watch This Space in 2017. In 2020, Lucy embarked on her next journey undertaking a creative PhD focused on custodian storytelling as a tool for arts based social action; her project seeks to extend the creative impact of the Alice to Mparntwe tours.

My passion is making a contribution to building creative communities in regional areas whilst working within culturally rich settings. My employment experience includes coordination and training roles in community, education and the arts sectors. This expertise has focused on developing creative public engagements through collaborative organisational partnerships. The outcomes have been festivals, public art, forums, exhibitions and tours. Reflective practice, mentoring and longitudinal thinking are key elements of my practice. My strengths include project leadership, advocacy, and administration, collaborating in team environments, and the development of specialist story telling / research / marketing and educational resources.