I visited the Geelong Contemporary Art Prize recently. Forty-two painters make up a diverse show ranging from figurative and photorealistic painting to text-based and abstract work. I love painting and I enjoyed the wide range of styles and techniques used.
Adam Pyett’s Flowering Gum had deliciously thick paint and brushstrokes, scrapes and roughly applied patches of colour showing some of the underpainted canvas. I loved the sketchy and spontaneous quality of the work.
I spent a long time in front of Steven Rendall’s IGA ATM CCTV. Nine CCTV scenes of supermarket aisles or 7-11 interiors painted using a limited palette of red, blue, pale green, beige, grey and white, complete with ‘blurred out’ people. I loved the squiggly freedom of the brushstrokes, and the subject – ‘big brother’ surveillance and how you can be caught on camera committing a crime, or just aimlessly wandering around a supermarket.
Jon Campbell’s Are you fuckin kidding me showed a sense of humour sometimes lacking in contemporary art. I loved the leftover E at the end and the red rectangle filling the bottom corner. It reminded me of homemade signs where people run out of room at the end.
The winner of the prize is Rob McHaffie, with Preserve this fruit.
The show runs until 23 November, so I’m tempted to visit again for another look.