Ray Monde: finalist in the Blacktown Art Prize 2020

When I was 12, my older brothers moved from the Burrell Creek in rural NSW to the Western Suburbs of Sydney to live and work, eventually settling in South Wentworthville. As a country kid, I thought Parramatta Westfield was the Sydney’s CBD. I thought Sydney was Parramatta.

So Parramatta and Blacktown for me were glimpses into a wider world. A world that wasn’t focused on cows and abattoirs. A world to do what you really wanted.

Chinese style mountains and pine tree with two naked men holding hands by Ray Monde
We Emerged Blinking in the Daylight, overpainted paper and collage on board, 2020, Ray Monde.

So it means a lot to me to be a finalist in the Blacktown Art Prize. Recognition in a way by people from the brave new world. Especially being shortlisted alongside such incredible artists like Dennis Golding, Tamara Dean, Jason Wing and Liam Benson.

Finalists in the 2020 Blacktown Art Prize.

One hundred and thirteen artworks from across Australia have been chosen as finalists in this year’s Blacktown City Art Prize. The works will be competing for a total prize pool of $20,000, and will be part of the exhibition at The Leo Kelly Blacktown Arts Centre from 28 November 2020 to 28 January 2021.

Of the finalists, 25% are artworks by Blacktown City residents, and will be eligible for the Local Artist Prize. Ten per cent are by Aboriginal artists, and will be eligible for the Aboriginal Artist Prize.

The works were judged by a panel comprising Kyra Kum-Sing (Artist and Curator, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative), Pedro de Almeida (Senior Curator, C3West at Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney) and Cath Barcan (Artist and Head Teacher of Visual Arts, Nepean Arts & Design Centre, TAFE NSW-Kingswood).

A record number of 893 entries were received this year – a 69% increase on the number of entries received in 2019. Entries were received from 660 artists across Australia, ranging from painting and drawing to sculpture, ceramics and mixed media.

Full list of finalists.

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