A record 1200 entries for the 66th Blake Prize have been shortlisted to 88 with the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre announcing the finalists for the biennial event on Thursday.
The entries, which come from across Australia, will be shown at The Blake Prize exhibition on February 13 where the winner will be announced.
CPAC director Craig Donarski said there was a 56 per cent increase of entries from the 2018 submissions.
"We're thrilled about the record number of entries we've received this year from such talented artists. An overwhelming majority of finalists came from Australia, proving what an incredible pool of talent we have in this country. Better still, this year's finalists include artists from every Australian state and territory," Mr Donarski said.
"The winner of this prestigious prize will receive $35,000, the winner of the Blake Emerging Artist Prize will also take home a cool $6000, the winner of the Blake Poetry Prize will be awarded $5000 and feature in the exhibition alongside the Art Prize Exhibition of finalists and the winner of the Blake Established Artist Residency will receive a one-month residency and a solo exhibition here at Casula Powerhouse in Liverpool."
Green Valley's Tom Yousif is one of the finalists creating a UV ink-on-cement quasi-relief depicting Ugallu, a lion-headed bird from ancient Mesopotamian culture.
Indigenous Australian artists share ranging perspectives on religion, culture, and spirituality including Blak Douglas who explores their frustration with embracing the religion of colonialism in Three Strikes and You're Out.
Other works include Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro's video The Pilgrims which focuses on insta-tourists and our decade of self-worship, Zanny Begg's video, Stories of Kannagi which features members of the western Sydney Tamil community and explores the impacts of civil war and Kent Morris' entry, Barkindji Blue Sky - Ancestral Connections #9, which is a photograph of kiinki (Corellas) circling a large telecommunication tower in the centre of Melbourne.
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