The 2023 Mil-Pra AECG Art Exhibition was launched on Saturday November 4 at the Casula Powerhouse Art Centre.
DSMG was proud to sponsor the Casula Powerhouse Aboriginal Scholarship Award alongside David Harding and Nabila Ansara and CPAC for a third year. Since its inception, the award has become a prestigious and valued opportunity for Indigenous artists. It includes funds to develop a solo exhibition at CPAC along with mentorship and curatorial support.
Right: Girrigan, the winning work by Bree Riley Image (c) Bree Riley - not for copying or reproduction without written permission of the artist
Each year sees strong entries from a diverse field of artists. This year’s winner is Wiradjuri artist Bree Riley for her work Girragan.
The 31st Mil-Pra Exhibition continues at Casula Powerhouse Art Centre until November 26.
The winning work was one of three pieces submitted by Bree, and the judge's comments noted how powerfully the work "immersed the viewer into Country, inviting, even insisting on a shift from the usual colonising gaze of landscape painting that seeks to survey and possess Country." Girrigan repositions the artist and her audience as "immersed in and embraced by Country. Warmed by the sun, cradled by the earth and surrounded by the Ancestors, Girrigan asks us to accept Country not as something to possess, but as somewhere to be, to belong, to become. It invites reflection on the challenges and achievements of days past and our own time, and the promises and possibilities of days and generations to come."
Left: Bree's other contributions to the Mil-Pra Exhibition. Marrambidya I (Murrumbiudgee River) (left) and The Weight of the Things I've Seen (right) Images (c) Bree Riley - not for copying or reproduction without written permission of the artist
Below: Scholarship winner Bree Riley and DSMG Director-Finance, Emeritus Professor Richie Howitt AM with the winning work, Girragan
The launch and awards ceremony at the Casula Powerhouse Art Centre was also an opportunity to visit the solo exhibition of last year’s scholarship winner, Gooreng Gooreng Kabi Kabi women Peta Link, and to congratulate her on a wonderful achievement. Working with her mentor Dennis Golding, Peta produced a wonderfully diverse and moving solo exhibition, including a reworking of her winning entry Spirit Women, which added a warm acknowledgement of Dharug custodians and saw the four women drawn completely into the circle of community, culture and Country.
Left: Spirit Women, a revised presentation of Peta Link's 2022 winning entry now on display at her solo exhibition at CPAC.
Below: Peta and Bree together at CPAC.
Sculpture image (c) Peta Link - not for copying or reproduction without written permission of the artist
The 2020 winner of the Casula Powerhouse Aboriginal Scholarship Award Kerry Toomey was also a strong presence at this year's exhibition, including receiving the Bruce & Carol Kendall OAM Memorial Award 2023. Congratulations to all this year's winners and to the CPAC and AECG teams for a wonderful event.