These last few days have been surreal to say the least. A couple of months ago I entered one image into the 2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, not only the richest contemporary art prize in Australia but the world, receiving 238,000 entry’s this year across both the photography and painting category’s (so obviously I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best). About one month ago I received an email saying I had been selected as one of the 40 finalists in the Photography category. At 7:30pm on Friday night I received a call from Renee Ward of Moran Prizes asking me if I could be available to attend the media launch to be held in Sydney on the following Tuesday (just gone). The only information I received from Renee was that I had been one of the five photographers short-listed for the $80,000 first prize.
I can’t really find the words to explain how big a deal this was to me, but in short this was to me as big as anything that has happened to me in my career to date – if not biggest. Prize money aside, to put it in perspective it is the equivalent in terms of an achievement for contemporary photography, as being shortlisted in Australia’s renowned painting award – the Archibald Prize. The judge for this year was world-renowned documentary photographer Stephen Dupont – a photographer that I have looked up to and held in extremely high regard for many years. To have Mr Dupont not only select my work as a finalist image in this years prize, but to award it a Highly Commended is a huge honour.
At the media announcement he explained what it was that drew him to my work. Listening to him articulate to the press his reasoning for his selection was the most rewarding thing I’ve heard since the theme song to the Never Ending Story. I would also like to throw a shout out to my home girl and right hand wing-woman Christine who was selected as one of the 40 a finalists, also to another local legend Vikky who also received a Highly Commended! (Go Canberra!)
In 2009 I was also fortunate enough to have judge Andrew Quilty select my image, ‘Perfect’, to be one of the finalists in this same Moran Prize category.
The talent from the finalists on show is unbelievable and well worth a look. The exhibition of the finalists selected for both the Photographic and Painting category’s will be on exhibition at the NSW State Library, Sydney until 5 September 2010 before commencing its 12 month tour of Australia. More on the Moran Prizes winers here and here. The image that was awarded a Highly Commended in this years Moran Prize entitled ‘This Way’ is directly below (silhouettes). My 2009 finalist image, ‘Perfect’ (pink ribbon) is beneath.
Both shot with film.
This is a high that I am going to ride for as long as I possibly can