The Wynne Prize, Australia’s oldest art prize, will tour regional NSW for the first time in its 125-year history after the Art Gallery of New South Wales received funding from the NSW Government.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole and Arts Minister Ben Franklin today announced funding of $762,000 for a three-year touring program which will go towards two major exhibitions: the inaugural Wynne Prize regional tour and an extended regional tour for William Kentridge: I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine.
From next year the annual Wynne Prize will tour to 12 regional art galleries throughout 2023, 2024 and 2025, while William Kentridge: I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine – currently exhibited at Orange Regional Gallery until June 26 – will continue touring to a further four regional NSW art galleries in 2023 and 2024.
Mr Toole, who made the funding announcement alongside Mr Franklin at the Orange Regional Gallery, said the touring program will deliver significant benefits for regional communities.
‘These two outstanding exhibitions will deliver truly exceptional art experiences to the regions and have the power to inspire and build stronger communities,’ Mr Toole said.
‘Regional art galleries are already making significant contributions to the cultural life of their communities and having the opportunity to host these remarkable exhibitions will help play a key role in the revitalisation of their local economies.’
Mr Franklin said introducing globally renowned work to regional audiences will have a lasting and positive impact on their communities.
‘The Wynne Prize and the works of William Kentridge are two incredibly important and prestigious art exhibitions. I am so proud funding made possible through the Blockbuster initiative will open up these experiences to audiences across the state,’ Mr Franklin said.
‘The NSW Government is committed to supporting regional arts and cultural organisations. The hosting of these major exhibitions will become a highlight of the regional NSW cultural events calendar, and I am so excited to see them drive visitation to the regions.’
Art Gallery of NSW director Dr Michael Brand welcomed the new funding towards the Art Gallery’s touring exhibition program, which offers diverse opportunities for NSW regional and public galleries to access the collection and key exhibitions.
‘This Government funding demonstrates the significance of our statewide reach and will allow us to be even more ambitious in the quality of art experiences we can bring to our public in regional NSW,’ Dr Brand said.
‘The funding will further strengthen our partnerships with our NSW colleagues and communities and will support the creation of associated exhibition educational and public programs for students and communities.
‘As the Art Gallery approaches the opening of our once-in-a-generation expansion known as the Sydney Modern Project, the regional touring of the Wynne Prize and the William Kentridge exhibition is a perfect way to celebrate our links with regional NSW.
The $50,000 Wynne Prize is awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture and is announced annually alongside the Archibald and Sulman Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW. While the Archibald Prize has toured regionally since 1999, until now the Wynne Prize has not been seen outside of Sydney. This means the 2023 Wynne Prize finalists will be the first time the exhibition of Australian landscapes and sculpture will visit regional communities, many of which will have been depicted over the past century.
The Wynne Prize is Australia’s oldest art prize. It was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne and was first awarded in 1897, marking the official opening of the Art Gallery of NSW at its present site.
William Kentridge’s eight-channel video work I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine premiered at the Biennale of Sydney in 2008 and is a major collection work of the Art Gallery of NSW gifted to the Gallery by Anita and Luca Belgiorno-Nettis in 2017.
One of the most powerful voices in art today, William Kentridge emerged as an artist during the apartheid regime in South Africa. Grounded in the violent absurdity of that period in his country’s history, his artworks draw connections between art, ideology, history and memory. They reveal the ways in which ideas and images echo across time and between different cultures.
Orange Regional Gallery director Brad Hammond said it is vitally important that regional audiences experience the work of major contemporary artists first-hand if they are to develop an appreciation for art as a way of making meaning from the challenges we face.
‘The response from our community to I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine by William Kentridge – the most ambitious moving image work of this internationally acclaimed artist – has been incredible. The experience of seeing it here in the region will be remembered by people of all ages for years to come,’ Mr Hammond said.
The Art Gallery’s touring exhibition program continues to draw from the Gallery’s collections and to support participating tour venues with onsite curatorial, conservation and installation expertise and skills development as well as comprehensive education and audience engagement programming.
Wynne Prize 2023–25
Bank Art Museum Moree, Mudgee Arts Precinct, New England Regional Art Museum (Armidale), Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Western Plains Cultural Centre (Dubbo), Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, Orange Regional Gallery, Glasshouse (Port Macquarie), Ngununggula Southern Highlands Regional Gallery, Grafton Regional Gallery
William Kentridge: I Am Not Me, The Horse Is Not Mine 2023–24
Includes Gosford Regional Gallery, Glasshouse (Port Macquarie), Tamworth Regional Gallery