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Supermarket worker wins $10k KM art prize

Thursday, 06 April 2017
By Print21

'My job has always been to throw them out but instead I always read them': Melbourne artist Kenny Pittock.

A supermarket worker who collected discarded shopping lists has won the $10,000 Emerging Artist award at 2017 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize for his painting Fifty-two found shopping lists written by people who need milk (2016).

Melbourne artist Kenny Pittock reproduced every detail of the 52 shopping lists he found discarded in a supermarket where he worked part-time.

“I’ve been collecting discarded shopping lists since I was fifteen, when I first started working in the milk section of a supermarket,” said Pittock. “Right now, I work two days a week for a different supermarket collecting shopping trolleys, and so over the years I’ve probably collected about two and half thousand shopping lists. My job has always been to throw them out but instead I always read them.”

In a statement, Redlands said: “His use of white earthenware that materially appropriates paper, and his painstaking attention to detail is extraordinary. The range of languages in the various shopping lists, the often intimate items the shoppers listed, and the occasional personal notes, are touching and, in a way, poetic.”

Judge Mark Harpley, head of Visual Arts at Redlands School, noted the humour in the work: “The interplay of the delicate earthenware permanently recording the ephemera of daily consumption and wasteful human nature combined with its intrinsic humour will ensure this work will resonate with and excite our students.”

Melbourne-based artist Diena Georgetti, a prominent figure in Australian contemporary art since the late 1980s, was awarded the established artist category ($25,000) for The Humanity of Construction Painting (2017).

The Humanity of Construction Painting (2017), by Diena Georgetti

“In her acrylic on canvas work, Georgetti has achieved a successful equilibrium through the considered resolution that belies its intrinsic compositional tensions,” said Harpley. “The work will be a valuable asset to the learning and teaching at Redlands as an object in its own right and in regards to the inherent complexities of abstraction in Georgetti’s material and conceptual practice.”

The judges for this year’s Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize – Justin Paton (Head Curator for International Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales), Judith Blackall (NAS Gallery Curator) and Mark Harpley (Visual Arts Coordinator, Redlands School) – announced the awards at the opening night of the exhibition of finalist works presented at the National Art School Gallery in Sydney.

The main award for established artists is the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, valued at $25,000 and sponsored by Konica Minolta. The Emerging Artist Prize is valued at $10,000 and sponsored by Glenburn Pastoral Company.

David Cooke, MD, Konica Minolta, speaking at the awards ceremony

“Konica Minolta is proud to be able to offer continued support to the arts through the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, which has a rich history in recognising and nurturing exceptional talent,” said Dr David Cooke, managing director, Konica Minolta.

The 2017 Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize is exhibited from 28 March until 20 May at the National Art School Gallery (NAS Gallery), located within the National Art School’s historic campus on the corner of Forbes and Burton Streets, Sydney NSW. The exhibition is free-of-charge and open to the public and works are available for purchase with the exception of the winning works that are acquired into the permanent art collection of Redlands School.




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