We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

James Powditch The Wynne Club Championship

oil, acrylic and pen on board, found objects

180 x 316.1 cm

The Wynne Club Championship draws an amusing comparison between the popularity of art prizes and Australia’s love of sport.

‘I’ve had this old school blackboard for 22 years with no idea what to make with it. This year I was determined to use it. I sat staring at its green emptiness trying to wish a landscape onto it. I dwelt on why I felt compelled to enter the arena of the Wynne Prize again and again. Was it the joy of making a landscape? The thrill of competition? The glory of a win? And why did I put myself through this year after year? And [I thought of] all the others who have done the same for 127 years,’ says James Powditch, an 11-time finalist in the Wynne.

While only including a small pictorial representation of landscape, Powditch describes a vast historical one, listing the Wynne winners since 1897 in a format resembling a sports honour board. A notable detail is the sameness reflected in the winners’ names for much of the prize’s history, reminding us how the demographic ‘landscape’ of Australian art has recently evolved.

‘By using the honour board concept, I hope that the work is accessible to everyone – evoking a sense of community and place, and maybe inspiring people to look into the history and evolution of landscape painting in Australia,’ says Powditch, who is also a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize.

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