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Maddocks Art Award rewards 'skill, discipline and training'

• 28 May 2009 • 2 min read

An emerging artist whose personal mantra is 'skill, discipline and training' has won the 2009 Maddocks Art Award.

28 May 2009: An emerging artist whose personal mantra is 'skill, discipline and training' has won the 2009 Maddocks Art Award.

Richard Lewer last night accepted the law firm's award which will fund his study tour of this year's Venice Biennale. It includes a return airfare, accommodation in Venice and an allowance.

"Though our award makes an important financial contribution, more importantly it allows an emerging artist such as Richard to experience contemporary art in an international context," said Maddocks Chairman Mark Henry when announcing the award at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces in Melbourne last night.

Maddocks is a Melbourne and Sydney-based law firm that has been proudly sponsoring Australia's representation at the Venice Biennale – the most prestigious international contemporary art event – since 2001.

Mr Henry explained the motivation for Maddocks commitment to contemporary art as “a genuine interest in fostering both the personal and professional growth of emerging Australian artists.”

“By supporting the Australian representatives at the Venice Biennale, and offering the Maddocks Art Award, we are contributing towards the much-needed financial support that enables our emerging artists to become recognised internationally," said Mr Henry.

Through the Maddocks Art Award, the firm sponsors an emerging Australian artist to attend the Venice Biennale (held every two years in Italy). Sculptor Mira Gojak won the inaugural Maddocks Art Award in 2005. In 2007 Benjamin Armstrong won the award.

The Maddocks Art Award was open to all Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) graduates who currently hold a studio at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces and ten artists applied for the award this year.

The award selection panel consisted of Associate Professor Marie Sierra (VCA's Graduate research coordinator and Head of sculpture & spatial practice), Alexie Glass (Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces director) and Mark Henry.

"Maddocks' long association with the Victorian College of the Arts and the Venice Biennale, and more recently with Gertrude, underpins the firm's commitment to contemporary art and emerging artists," said Mr Henry.

Mr Lewer arrived in Australia in 1997 and currently lives and works in Melbourne. In 2000, he completed a Master of Visual Arts at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and has recently participated in several artist-in-residences at the Victorian Institute of Sports, Melbourne (2005), St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne (2006) and the McCahon Residency, New Zealand (2008).

Richard is represented in Australia by Block Projects and currently occupies a studio at Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces.


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