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Sydney based artist Jumaadi wins 2017 Mosman Art Prize

29 September 2017

The 2017 Mosman Art Prize – Australia’s oldest and most recognised local government art award – has been awarded to Indonesian-Australian artist, Jumaadi.

Jumaadi has won the $50,000 acquisitive main prize for Some kind of record, 2016, a 24 x panel acrylic work that explores the artist’s cultural roots while displaying a refreshingly honest and open approach to storytelling. Jumaadi’s winning work was chosen for the prize’s 70th Anniversary year and now enters the celebrated Mosman Art Collection.

Some Kind of Record originates from the artist’s study trips between rural New South Wales, his home studio in Sydney and excursions to Java. The work continues Jumaadi’s interest in the history of migration and exchange between Australia and Indonesia.

Jumaadi says: “The works are acrylic painted on found filing boards that I sourced in Cowra 2013 during a residency program, while my main focus was to trace the history of 1200 Indonesian political prisoners taken by the Dutch to Cowra from Digul during WW2 (1943). The boards have been in my custody the last few years and the conversation taking place in various studios – Cowra, Sydney, Java, until we arrive in a conclusion – the composition. Each painting contains notes, sketches, unfinished picture and line of poetry (not uncommon within my practice). To me: art making is kind of similar to praying, writing letter, searching for clue and expression of love and all kind of emotions. In this work, layering and hybrid of images construct a composition to build a grand narrative. Displacement, longing, admiration of beauty, personal poetry of places and pictures … Although they remain open to me and to the audience.”

Jumaadi was presented with the first prize of $50,000 by Professor The Hon Dame Marie Bashir AD CVO, at the official launch event on the evening of Thursday 28 September at Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney.

To commemorate the award’s 70th Anniversary, the major prize – sponsored by Mosman Council – increased from $30,000 to $50,000, in a strong vote of confidence in the importance and esteem with which the Prize is held.

A new Commendation Prize of $10,000, The Margaret Olley Award, was established this year to honour the late great Australian painter who was the inaugural winner of the Mosman Art Prize in 1947. Generously donated by The Margaret Olley Trust, this prize has been awarded to Aboriginal artist Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty (Batjamal), Bulgul, NT, community, currently based in Alice Springs.

Further awards on the night included: The Allan Gamble Memorial Award (for Built Environment) $3,000 given to Glenn Locklee (Sydney) and the Fourth Village Providore Emerging Artist Award, won by Clara Adolphs (Sydney).

Judge for the 2017 Mosman Art Prize, Kirsten Paisley, Deputy Director, National Gallery of Australia, comments on the winning work.

Ms Paisley says:

The winning artwork for the Mosman Art Prize is Jumaadi’s ‘Some kind of record, 2017’. This work stood out amongst the 758 entries for being unique in subject and construction. Painted on old Masonite filing dividers the studies allude to a system of recording, with the letter of the filing dividers leaving us to wonder if what at first seemed to be a record of weather recorded over a period of days, might have a greater meaning. Are these studies about people? Do they stand for feelings or moods or for places one has been? In this way Jumaadi’s work is gentle and poetic, much like a storyboard which threads together disparate moments of reflection, operating as a meditation on the meeting point of earth and sky, animated by the weather and its associated evocative moods.

Commenting on the choice of winner, John Cheeseman, Director, Mosman Art Gallery says:

The Mosman Art Prize continues to stand the test of time. While most 70 year olds are well and truly retired, it is heartening to see this Prize continue to break new ground and elevate rising talent. This year’s winner, Jumaadi, is one of the most exciting artists in Australia and this win is further confirmation of the continued ascent of his career

Commenting on the history of the award, exhibition & Senior Curator Katrina Cashman says:

When the Mosman Art Prize was established in 1947 there were very few opportunities for artists to exhibit their work or even avenues to come together and form connections.
The Mosman Art prize was very quickly adopted and accepted amongst the artist community as one of a quartet of major art prizes along with the Archibald, Wynne and the Sulman. Since the Mosman art prize has grown in stature over the past 70 years to become an acquisitive art prize of national significance with a collection which reads like a who’s who of Australian art.

Mosman Mayor, Councillor Carolyn Corrigan said:

Mosman Council is extremely proud of the Mosman Art Prize and the role Council has played over the past 70 years, leading support for the visual arts in Australia.

The 2017 Mosman Art Prize attracted over 750 entries from around Australia.
A total of $65,000 in prize money was awarded to artists across four categories:

MAJOR PRIZE (Acquisitive) $50,000. (Sponsored by Mosman Council)

Winner: Jumaadi (Sydney)

for Some Kind of record, 2016, 24 panels, acrylic on board 88 × 90 cm (framed)

MARGARET OLLEY AWARD (Commendation) $10,000 (Sponsored by The Margaret Olley Trust)

Winner: Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty (NT)

for My Family’s journey, 2017, acrylic on linen, 99 × 200 cm

ALLAN GAMBLE MEMORIAL ART AWARD $3,000 (Sponsored by Mosman Council)

Winner: Glenn Locklee (Sydney)

for: Urban industrial fragments, 2017, oil on aluminium, 160 × 95 cm


Winner: Clara Adolphs (Sydney)

for: Sal, 2017, oil on linen, 83 × 67 cm

Congratulations to all the winners.

  • The free exhibition of 88 finalist’s works runs until Sunday 29 October 2017.
  • Selected works are for sale.
  • Mosman Art Society Viewer’s Choice Award announced prior to closing.
  • Public Program of artist talks to accompany the exhibition.