Natalie Duncan wins the prestigious Napier Waller Art Prize for 2019
The Australian War Memorial is pleased to announce Natalie Duncan as the winner of the 2019 Napier Waller Art Prize, for her work entitled You are in danger and I am far away.
Ms Duncan will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and her art work will be displayed at the Australian War Memorial and accessioned into the National Collection. She will also receive a two-week research residency in the Art section of the Memorial, and a mentoring day with eX de Medici, former official war artist to the Solomon Islands.
The work was selected from a short list of 26 entries. Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said the judging panel had a difficult time deciding on a single, winning art work.
“Art is a powerful form of expression which inspires us to have the imaginative capacity to see the world through the eyes of others. In veterans’ art we gain an insight into the world of those who have served our nation.
“In many cases the subject matter tells stories that hurt, but in doing so they heal,” Dr Nelson said.
Deputy Director of Innovation & Business Development at the University of Canberra, Ian Drayton, said he has been researching how the creative arts can aid soldiers’ recovery from combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder for some time.
“We know creative arts have a positive effect on those who have been wounded or injured as part of their service. The Napier Waller Art Prize is a great way for veterans to connect through art and to help current and former Defence personnel manage the pain and trauma they may experience,” Mr Drayton said.
A panel of art professionals from the Australian War Memorial chose a shortlist of 26 works, from which a group of judges selected 12 as Highly Commended. The judges were: Dr Brendan Nelson AO, Director of the Australian War Memorial; eX de Medici, former official war artist; Mr Nick Mitzevich, Director of the National Gallery of Australia; Mr Gerard Vaughan AM, former director of the National Gallery of Australia; Dr Caren Florance, University of Canberra Program Director, TQVisArts, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra; General Angus Campbell, Chief of the Australian Defence Force; Mr Gary Dawson, Vice President Strategy, Thales Australia; Ms Laura Webster, Head of Art, Australian War Memorial; and Mr Paul Flynn, Chief Executive Officer, Hospital Research Foundation.
The Napier Waller Art Prize is open exclusively to current and former Australian Defence Force personnel. It is held in partnership with the University of Canberra, Thales Australia, The Road Home, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, with support from The Honourable Darren Chester MP.
The 12 Highly Commended works will be displayed in Anzac Hall’s mezzanine area from 20 September to 25 November 2019.
Voting for the $5000 Napier Waller People’s Choice Award closes on 17 November. The 26 shortlisted works can be viewed at: https://www.awm.gov.au/nwap/.