17 November – 17 December 2000
An exhibition of finalists in the year 2000 Blake Prize awarded to the best contemporary religious work of art determined by the judges.
Since 1951 the Blake Society has awarded an annual prize for a work of art with a religious or spiritual theme. It is the only prize of its kind and attracts widespread public and critical attention. It has played an important role in the cultural life of Australia as artists from every state have contributed works that express many different aspects of religious and spiritual beliefs. Each year a panel of judges, comprised of a practicing artist, an art historian and theologian, is appointed by the Society. The panel evaluates the paintings, sculptures, photographs and other contemporary media that are submitted by approximately 400 artists from all over Australia and internationally. A number of these works are selected for exhibition and the Blake Prize is awarded. The exhibition is traditionally shown at a Sydney gallery and then a selection tours nationally the following year.
Always challenging and innovative, it inevitably reflects the multi-cultural nature of Australian society with works of art expressive of diverse religious faiths and others reflecting the spirituality of indigenous peoples. As it is the one art prize which encourages shared understanding rather than conflict between people interested in religious ideas it makes a constructive contribution not only to contemporary art but also to the well being of Australian society.
The judges for the Prize were Fr. Anthony Kelly, Ross Mellick & Imants Tillers.
The 2000 Blake Prize was awarded to Frances Belle Parker for her work The Journey.
19 November – Art, religion and the spiritual in our time A panel discussion with Ross Mellick, artist, Father Anthony Kelly, Australian Catholic University & Frances Belle Parker, artist and 2000 Blake Prize winner
26 November – When is religion artistic…when is art religious? Rev Rod Pattenden, Paddington Uniting Church
3 December In reverence of William Blake Professor Michael Griffith, Australian Catholic University, discusses the ubiquitous influence this visionary poet and artist has had on Australian art
10 December Forming our spiritual future through artistic imagination Nick Waterlow, curator of Ivan Dougherty Gallery, COFA with artists Ian Grant, Thomas Spence, Marion Borgelt & John Adair
17 December To infinity and beyond – spirituality in art John Coburn, 1960 and 1977 Blake winner & Rachel Ellis, 1996 Blake Winner