John Fries Memorial Prize 2012 Finalists Exhibition

The John Fries Memorial Prize 2012 Finalists’ Exhibition was held at Gaffa Galleries from 11 August to 1 September.

Tasmanian artist Jacob Leary was the winner of the 2012 prize for his installation work Technological Causality. For the first time since the Memorial Prize began in 2009, the judges also highly commended Cigdem Aydemir’s video installation Extremist Activity (swing) and commended Kate Shaw’s painting Milkwater.

Guest curator Venita Poblocki described Leary’s work as “a careful meditation upon technological processes and how these technical developments create new realities in which we are immersed.”

The 2012 prize attracted the largest number of entries yet. Poblocki described 2012 as a “bold exhibition showcasing artworks that comment on issues relevant to the contemporary society in which we live”. In a ‘no holds barred’ approach,the twenty artists presented a fresh and sometimes fun aesthetic. Each artist was exploratory within their chosen medium and fearless in the topics they navigated.

Judges Wayne Tunnicliffe, AGNSW Head Curator Australian Art, and artists Bronwyn Bancroft and Kath Fries commented that it was exciting to see such a high calibre of talent amongst Australia’s emerging artists, demonstrating that prizes like this are crucial in supporting them.

The 2012 finalists were:

  • Cigdem Aydemir, Extremist Activity (swing)
  • Jacqueline Bradley, Kite Jacket
  • Georgina Cue, On Exactitude in Science
  • Wanda Gillespie, Swi Gunting
  • Catherine Hockey, Lifting Veneer
  • Fiona Jack, Portworkers (Striking Ports of Auckland Workers, 2012)
  • Adam Laerkesen, Escarpment
  • Jacob Leary, Technological Causality
  • Owen Leong, “Infiltrator” and “Infinite Love”
  • Kittey Malarvie, “Looka” – Cracked Mud
  • Philjames, …(to the tune of The Simpsons)
  • Cath Robinson, Thought Noise/ Wave Form Preludes (if played simultaneously)
  • Kate Shaw, Milkwater
  • George Shaw, Tomorrow is Another Day
  • Adrian Spurr, a.Contemplation
  • Marc Standing, I Come to You in Dreams
  • Cyrus Tang, Body Ruins
  • Nathan Taylor, Loved to Death
  • Carolyn V Watson, One Thing Lead to Another (and one thing leads to another)
  • Paul Yore, Everything is Fucked


Thanks to our exhibition sponsors: Stormflower Vineyard, Little Creatures Brewery and International Art Shipping.