JODY GRAHAM WINS THE ADELAIDE PERRY PRIZE FOR DRAWING

1 March 2022

The Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing is a $25,000 acquisitive art award among the most significant of its kind in the country. The annual $25,000 acquisitive prize at Sydney's PLC received over 400 entries from across Australia this year with 46 finalists selected by judge Dr Andrew Frost.

The exhibition of Finalists 2022 is open to the public, by appointment only from 26 February – 25 March.

Jody Graham writes about her prize-winning work "Cinder Dance"... 

While researching the Black Summer fires I was moved by stories from people who were affected. During this time, I connected with Den Barber who runs Yarrabin Cultural Connections. Den is an Aboriginal man, descendant of the Traditional Custodians from Mudgee of the Wiradjuri people in the Central Tablelands of NSW.

What I discovered from Den helped me understand about cultural burning and how it is all about caring for the environment. I like the measured risk in cultural burning and the careful supervising of flames burning low, so they do not get out of control and burn the canopies of trees and cause catastrophic damage to the environment and wildlife.


When I made Cinder Dance, I invited nature to participate in the process by submerging the drawing in a dam, drawing with rocks underwater, using tree sap to colour the work and recycling burnt branches into mark-making instruments. I hit and swung large charcoal sticks at the paper, trying to land the mark in the right spot. Often, I got it right; but there was a managed risk, just as with cultural burning. My intention throughout the mark-making process was to create a drawing that echoes the meditative dance of flames during a cultural burn.  —Jody Graham

Image: Jody Graham – Cinder Dance 2021, Charcoal, tree sap, natural ochre from 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires on paper, 120cm x 114cm

 

 

 

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