Chris Casali’s Mutawintji Dreaming Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art

Chris Casali with her artwork Oh Wollemi, 2019, Graphite Watercolour on Yupo, 200 x 150 cm.

Chris Casali with her artwork Oh Wollemi, 2019, Graphite Watercolour on Yupo, 200 x 150 cm.

With four weeks left to enter Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, Create NSW spoke with the winner of its Emerging Artist Prize, Chris Casali to learn about her winning effort.

You won the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Emerging Artist Prize last year for your graphite watercolour, Mutawintji Dreaming. Can you tell us a bit about that?

My painting, Mutawintji Dreaming, was a personal response to a place I visited in the arid and rocky Mutawintji National Park, north east of Broken Hill. When you walk through the terrain there’s an unexplainable presence that feels spiritual and ancient, an experience I still can’t describe, which is why I painted this piece. The complexity and detail of this painting resonates with the land, its terrain and richness of Aboriginal culture, history and underlying sorrow for what has been lost. The spirit of Mutawintji sits close to my heart.

 Your practice is driven by detail, reduction, withdrawal, and escape. Can you tell us about what interests you in these elements?

I love detail, getting close to the marks you create, watching work evolve, pushing and pulling the abstraction until it finally comes to form. This process is an active withdrawal from the complexities of our current world – a coping mechanism that uses meditative experiences that are both emotional and intuitive.

What are you currently working on?

My current focus of research investigates morality in the arts. Citizen Artistry; its effectiveness, influence, and courage. Project objectives gives voice to current social and political concerns without conforming to prescribed activist ideologies and processes – a dilemma that lies between the need to retain artistic integrity, whilst indoctrinating a commitment to the advocation of global and climate citizenship, and support.

And do you have any advice for someone entering this year’s prize?

The Ravenswood Art Prize is a wonderful award to be associated with. The opportunity to participate and be shortlisted gives voice to who you are and the work you create. The most rewarding element of this prize is the celebration and recognition of Australian women in the arts.

The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize

The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize is an annual prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunity for emerging and established female artists in Australia. It is the highest value professional artist prize for women in Australia.

The three prize categories are the Professional Artist Prize of $35,000, the Emerging Artist Prize of $5,000 and the Indigenous Emerging Artist Prize of $5,000.

Get your entries in to Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize now.

Check out Chris Casali’s work.

Chris Casali with her artwork Oh Wollemi, 2019, Graphite Watercolour on Yupo, 200 x 150 cm.
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