A scriptural verse from the prophet Micah has been chosen as the next theme for the 2020 Mandorla Art Awards.
Since its inception in 1985, the Mandorla Art Award for contemporary religious art is Australia’s most significant thematic religious art prize, attracting contemporary artworks that are diverse, challenging and provide an insightful interpretation of the chosen Biblical theme.
The new theme based on the scriptural verse from the Prophet Micah, chapter 6, verse :8 – was announced at the opening of the Australian Academy of Liturgy National Conference at the University of Notre Dame Fremantle Campus and was chosen by the committee following research of current issues affecting today’s society.
The words of theme state, “He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love with kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?.”
Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton, for the Archdiocese of Perth said the launch of the Mandorla Art Award is a cause for excitement and expectation for artists and the art loving public.
“It is fascinating to be able to view in the works entered how the theme chosen from the bible each year is interpreted by the artists,” Bishop Sproxton said.
“The challenge for 2020 will be to explore the concrete ways in our contemporary culture to love God and our neighbour,” he said.
To support artists in the development of their entry, a selection of commentaries – including an audio of Anglican Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy’s speech from the launch night – will be available on the Mandorla website.
More commentaries and reflections will be added in the coming months. A series of artist forums will also be held where artists are invited to come and hear from theologians and guest speakers about the theme.
An independent selection panel consisting of art specialists and theologians will appraise entries.
The selection panel will be seeking examples of artistic excellence in a diverse range of media and contemporary practice to ensure the exhibition of finalist’s works presents a cross section of Australia’s leading artists.
A list of the previous winners includes Mikaela Castledine (2018), Megan Robert (2016), Paul Kaptein (2014), John Paul (2012 & 1990), Annette Allman (2010), Concetta Petrillo (2007) Michael Kane Taylor (2004), Julie Dowling (2000), Brian McKay (2002 & 1986), John Coburn (1996), Nigel Hewitt (1991 & 1992), Ivan Bray (1989), Allan Baker (1988), Michael Iwanoff (1987) and Theo Koning (1985).
The winning artwork becomes part of the Mandorla Art Award collection, which is housed at the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, home of Australia’s best contemporary Christian art collection.
A selection of finalists’ artworks will be chosen to be part of the Mandorla Art Award Touring Exhibition which will be displayed at New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, St Mary’s Cathedral and St John of God Health Care campuses in Perth, providing up to three display opportunities in the one award.
Mandorla Art Award prize money totalling to $42,000 includes: a sum of $25,000 acquisitive Mandorla Art Award, sponsored by St John of God Health Care; two $5000 non-acquisitive highly commended prizes; $5000 non-acquisitive Patricia Toohey painting prize; and $2000 non-acquisitive People’s Choice Award, sponsored by the Benedictine Community of New Norcia.