AF 2001 003

Year: 2001

Winner: Merilyn Fairskye

Title: Eye Contact

Medium: single digital video disc with stereo sound

Judge: Elizabeth Ann Macgregor[

Judge’s comments regarding her choice of winner:

speakerJudging one work of art over another is always a very difficult business, especially when the works are as diverse and of such a high standard as they are in the 31st Alice Prize. This work by Marilyn Fairskye stood out initially because she has used new technology to make what is essentially a work of portraiture. It’s like a video diary, composed of images of people selected from photographs she has been taking since 1992. The subjects are from many different social and racial backgrounds. By asking them to pose with their eyes shut, she draws attention to how important eye contact (which is the name of the piece) is in our interactions with each other. With their eyes shut, these people seem very vulnerable. I found this panorama of images, text (stating the person’s name, occupation and country) and soundtrack very moving. It reminds us if the great range and diversity of people in the world today and challenges stereotypes. Especially in the light of current world events, the work is a simple reminder of the essential underlying humanity that we all share, regardless of our background.

Pre-Selection Panel:
Peter Haynes, Director of the Canberra Museum and Gallery
Jon Cattapan, Artist, Victoria
Caroline Lieber, Exhibitions and Collections Manager, Araluen


Winner of the 2001 Alice Prize:(Acquired) Merilyn Fairskye, Sydney 2001_winner_page Eye Contact Single channel DVD installation with stereo sound. Short monitor version exhibited for the Alice Art Prize.

Special Commendation (Acquired) Lucy Yukenbari, Balgo Hills


Marpa Acrylic on linen

Special Commendation (Acquired) Rod Moss, Alice Springs


Robbie Hayes’ Breakfast Camp Polymer paints and graphite on paper