Lindy Lee And Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran Win Melbourne Art Foundation Visual Arts Awards
By Phoebe Tam
On August 4, the Melbourne Art Foundation announced the 2018 recipients of its biennial Visual Arts Awards at a conferment ceremony in the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Awardees include contemporary artist Lindy Lee for the ST. ALi Artist Award, ceramicist Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran for the Young Artist Award, and Linda Michael for this year’s inaugural I AM GEORGE Curator Award.
Lindy Lee is a prominent Australian artist who has been active since the early 1980s. A second-generation Chinese migrant, she is heavily influenced by Taoism and Zen Buddhism. Her works frequently deal with the diasporic experience and cultural identities, though she has also explored more universal themes, such as selfhood, authenticity and nature. She was selected for the award in recognition of her outstanding artworks produced in the last two years, receiving AUD 10,000 (USD 7,400). Previous awardees include Bill Henson, Patricia Piccinini and Fiona Hall.
Sri Lankan-born, Sydney-based Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran is the second artist to win the Young Artist Award, a cash prize of AUD 5,000 (USD 3,700) open to artists under the age of 35. The inaugural winner of the award was indigenous Australian artist Daniel Boyd in 2015. Nithiyendran describes his own works as “rough-edged, vibrant, new-age idols” that delve into themes of religion, the monument, and politics of sex and gender. He has participated in the Dhaka Art Summit, Art Basel Hong Kong, and the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art. In 2016, he was the youngest artist to have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia.
Linda Michael received the inaugural I AM GEORGE Curator Award. She curated for the Australian Pavilion at 56th Venice Biennale, and was the former senior curator and deputy director at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art.
The Melbourne Art Foundation Visual Arts Awards is an anchor event of Melbourne Art Week, which took place between July 30 and August 5, and Melbourne Art Fair, which opened on August 2 and also ended on August 5.
Phoebe Tam is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.
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