Lachlan Petras wins $35,000 Dr Harold Schenberg Art Prize
The award was presented by Nick Dilorenzo, a trustee of The Dr Harold Schenberg Bequest, during the Hatched opening ceremony in the Perth Cultural Centre on Friday night. The judging panel was comprised of PICA Director, Amy Barrett-Lennard; Curator of Contemporary Australian Art at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Jenepher Duncan; and Acting Curator of the Cruthers Collection of Women’s Art at the University of Western Australia, Lee Kinsella.
The judges found their task particularly difficult when faced with an extraordinarily strong field of work by this year’s participating Hatched artists. In addition to selecting the award winner they gave honourable mentions to artists Sarah Jane Haywood, Amina McConvell and Pip Stafford.
Recalling motifs from Velazquez and Francis Bacon and conflating cinematic tropes with architectural structures, Aggregate presents the viewer with two protagonists, a mirror-plated figure and a little person, with symbolic Superman and Transformers tattoos, who are situated within a wind tunnel facility – a strangely mysterious site that resembles a science fiction set, silo or space station.
PICA Director Amy Barrett-Lennard says, “When considering an artist for this award the judges were looking for a distinctive and individual approach, a refined visual language, conceptual rigour, technical excellence and clarity of communication. We got all this and more in Lachlan Petras’ Aggregate, a fresh, intelligent, ambitious and refined work that lead us to believe that this graduate had the capacity to significantly further their career as an artist”.
The Doctor Harold Schenberg Art Prize is awarded each year to one outstanding Hatched artist, enabling them to invest in the development of their practice through travel, research or production support.
Hatched: National Graduate Show 2012 continues until 10 June.