Images: Headache, Peace wall (detail), 2016, aerosol on canvas, 120 x 120 cm; Art & Dharma, Memory, depth, clarity, 2016, aerosol on board, 120 x 90 cm; Carley Cornelissen, Birds out (detail), 2016, aerosol, acrylic on board, 120 x 120 cm; Tinku, Tributo, 2016, aerosol, acrylic, salt, soil on canvas, 105 x 85cm; courtesy the artists

Making its South Australian debut at Flinders University City Gallery, the 2016 Stencil Art Prize celebrates the phenomenon and fervour of the global stencil art movement.

The world’s oldest and largest stencil art event, it comprises work by more than eighty finalists from over twenty countries. Artists have been influenced by the tenacious and rebellious nature of street art that was cultivated during the late twentieth century in Europe and the United States. The featured work melds pop culture imagery and politics to visualise current social issues and injustices.

Stencil Art Prize curator, founder and director Jacinta Fintan remarks that, “In the early days of the Stencil Art Prize, artists were jostling to see who could put the most layers into an artwork to achieve photorealistic results, now the prize encompasses nearly every stencil making method on the planet”. Such creative approaches include hand drawn, hand cut, screen-printed and computer generated stencil layers combined with collage and mixed media. 

Flinders University Art Museum (FUAM) has maintained a strong interest in collecting and researching Australian political prints and posters since the early 1990s. The collection preserves works by Australian artists such as Ann Newmarch, Toni Robertson and Byron Pickett, and collectives including the Anarchist Feminist Poster Collective, Earthworks Poster Collective and Harridan Screen Printers. FUAM Exhibitions Manager Celia Dottore comments that, “In Australia, the graphic energy and immediacy of the political poster has made it a popular medium for activism since the 1960s. It is this legacy that endures in the vibrant stencil-based works being made today. As a genre that continually pushes the boundaries of what constitutes art, it also has the power to reflect our collective hopes, dreams and fears”.

The 2016 prize was awarded to Guatemalan artist Tinku for his moving tribute to Guatemala’s Indigenous women. He states “This is a homage and a way to give more visibility to the struggle of the Guatemalan people who fought for a country free of oppression, exploitation and discrimination and therefore this is for them”. As an acquisitive prize it endeavours to preserve this largely ephemeral art form and nurture connections between artists, across borders and cultures.

The 2016 Stencil Art Prize will be officially launched at 6pm on Friday 10 February by South Australian artist James Dodd at Flinders University City Gallery. It is presented as part of the 2017 Adelaide Fringe Festival and will be on display until Sunday 9 April 2017.

Public Program
Saturday 11 February 2017 | 2 - 3pm
Floortalk with curator Jacinta Fintan and artist Joshua Smith

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