Southern Cross lecturer takes out prestigious art prize

Published 24 September 2021
Marian and her winning work

Southern Cross senior lecturer in art and design and practising artist Marian Tubbs has taken out one of Queensland’s most prestigious art awards, the Sunshine Coast Art Prize.

Black and white photograph
"The Farm" by Marian Tubbs

Now in its 16th year, the award – with a first-place prize of $25,000 – attracts entries from emerging and established artists across the nation. It recognises outstanding contemporary 2D arts practice in Australia.

Marian’s winning piece is entitled ‘the farm’. The stunning black and white photograph was taken at a contemporary kelp farm. “I manipulated the detail in the photograph so it reads as an underwater landscape. The work is as much about ‘photography’ as a medium of seduction, truth, and falsehoods as it is about the subject captured. While natural kelp farms die out across Australia’s waters from climate change, industry development of underwater farms is booming.

“It’s a homage to an unauthored, untitled photograph from 1937 said to be the first capture of the Great Barrier Reef. An unknown underwater universe gave form to wonder, so much so that the surrealist artist Andre Bréton purchased the rights of this image for his book L’Amour fou (Mad Love). Later, it was to be revealed as a fake news image, it was in fact taken from the view of a porthole of a ship in the Bahamas,” said Marian.

Marian’s piece will be acquired into the Sunshine Coast Art Collection.

Her work and all the other finalists are on show in an exhibition at Caloundra Regional Gallery until 10 October 2021.

View the Sunshine Coast Art Prize 2021 finalists or the flipbook.

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