Australia’s oldest and most recognised local government art award – the 2023 Mosman Art Prize – has been awarded to Sydney-based artist, David Griggs.
The artwork, which won him the $50,000 cash prize, is from a series of paintings entitled Baseline.
“Most recently my process is to make detailed paintings, before disrupting them with a more gestural application, to try to wash away the mechanisms we have as painters,” Mr Griggs says of the series.
Originating from a difficult medical experience, the artist approached the subject matter with his characteristic honesty to create a painting that is chaotic and gestural, but ultimately touches on the vulnerability of our humanity, Mosman Council said in a statement.
Mr Griggs was presented with the first prize of $50,000 by 2023 judge and artist, Fiona Lowry at the exhibition opening on the evening of Friday 22 September at Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney.
Commenting on the winning work, Fiona Lowry says: “Having followed David’s work over a number of years, I was excited to see this work with David’s characteristically provocative and complex storytelling. I found the vulnerability of this work to be especially compelling as it reflects on our imperfections and the fragility of life.”
Further awards presented on the night included the Margaret Olley Commendation Award ($6,000) given to Huseyin Sami (Sydney), the Allan Gamble Award (for built environment) valued at $3,500 won by Lewis Ihnatko (Sydney), and the Guy Warren Emerging Artist Award, $2,000 presented to Heath Nock (Sydney).
The 2023 Mosman Art Prize attracted 1,295 entries from across Australia with 91 paintings selected for the finalist exhibition.
“Mosman Council is proud of its ongoing support of this important prize and of all the artists,” said Mosman Mayor, Councillor Carolyn Corrigan.
“We are delighted to acquire this work for the Mosman Art Collection, and for it to sit alongside the work of precious winners such as Margaret Olley, Noel McKenna and Salote Tawale.
“Congratulations to David Griggs and I personally congratulate all finalists.”
A total of $61,500 in prize money was awarded to artists across four categories:
Major Prize (acquisitive) $50,000 – Supported by Mosman Council
Winner: David Griggs (Sydney) for The stitches and the melanoma, 2023, oil on canvas, 137.5 x 102 cm.
Margaret Olley Commendation Award $6,000 – Supported by Gillian and the late Brian Jones
Winner: Huseyin Sami (Sydney) for Bucket Painting, 2022, synthetic polymer paint on polyester, 152 x 122 cm.
Allan Gamble Award $3,500 – Supported by Christine and the late Hugh Fraser
Winner: Lewis Ihnatko (Sydney) for Red River, 2023, synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 71 x 51cm.