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Christopher Jones takes out art prize

Winner announced in the 2009 Stan and Maureen Duke Gold Coast Art Prize

Writer and broadcaster Andrew Frost announced the winner and acquisitions of this important and long running national art prize at Gold Coast City Art Gallery on Saturday 12 December.

Christopher Jones’s painting ‘The liver is the bucket kicked the rabbit’ is a direct call to the unconscious, scrambling memories of Warner Bros. cartoons – from where I think part of the text is taken – and a suggestion of an altered mental state, perhaps the result of too much drink. Every time I look at the painting I’m challenged once more to make sense of its cryptic, yet naggingly familiar message – something that is rare in text paintings, and perhaps is more akin to poetry than blank advertising.

I was very much taken with the painting’s humour; it’s bold and direct address and the sharp clean edges of its execution.

Jones receives $10,000 and the gallery also acquired his work. He studied at Victorian College of the Arts and has recently returned from a residency at Red Gate in Beijing.

Andrew Frost went on to comment:

A real pleasure of the Duke Prize is the opportunity to select finalists’ works for acquisition by the Gold Coast City Art Gallery. Happily, selecting works for acquisition meant that I was able to choose more works that I liked very much.

Fiona White’s ‘The red bathers’ was a standout piece, with its use of a gold background, figures drawn in charcoal and lovingly rendered swimming costumes. Vicky Browne works with music making and musical objects and her ‘Rainbow Connection’ is a sweet and beguilingly lovely piece that rewards callers to her mobile phone.

Silvia Schwenk’s ‘The Workers Lift’ and David Creed’s “Roller blade dance” are standout pieces of video art, documenting fleeting moments of real life and perhaps reflecting a shared interest in dance and movement.

Abstract works were very strong in the Duke entries and Lyndal Hargrave’s ‘Sacred Geometry II’ was both playful and conceptually exact. Greg Fullerton’s work ‘Flag [Wave] Black Rock’ is an elegant and simple piece that’s full of suggestion while remaining tantalizingly ambiguous.

Dinni Kunoth Kemarre’s ‘Quinten Lynch’ is a lovely work also and I have no better reason to commend it than to say it makes me smile every time I look at it.

The exhibition of 61 selected works continues untill February 14. Entry is free, all works are for sale and visitors are encourged to register their vote for the peoples choice award with a chance to win cinema passes to movies at the Gold Coast Arts Centre.

For enquires please contact 07 55816567


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