Confronting artwork wins Sulman Prize for Peter Smeeth
IT is confronting. To some it is shocking. But it has won Tumbi Umbi artist Peter Smeeth one of Australia’s most important art awards.
Smeeth has taken out the 2011 Sulman Prize for the self-portrait titled The Artist’s Fate.
The win means $20,000 for the prolific artist and ranks as his most important award.
He has been entering exhibitions for more than 20 years, has won many major regional awards and been a finalist in the Archibald Prize many times.
But this is the biggest win so far.
“I am relieved,” Smeeth said. “It’s nice to get a major one.”
His graphic and confronting painting is about an artist’s rejection - a “literal translation in paint,” he said.
“It’s how an artist feels when rejected by judges in an art prize, a client, a dealer or a gallery,” he said.
“Of course, almost everyone suffers from some form of rejection at various stages in their lives and most are much more significant than a self-absorbed artist’s feeling of disappointment.
“But when you do get rejected, you do feel a bit down in the dumps for a few days, it’s a bit like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick - I’ve put that feeling on canvas.”