Brisbane, 21 October 2016: Emerging Queensland-based new media artist Kailum Graves has won the 2016 Clayton Utz Art Award for his abstract photographic image, Transillumination.
Kailum's work was one of 43 finalists for the annual $10,000 prize, selected from a record 341 entries.
QUT Art Museum and William Robinson Gallery senior curator, Vanessa Van Ooyen, judged this year's Award, and described Kailum's piece as "perfectly encapsulat[ing] how artists can ignite our capacity for wonder."
To create Transillumination, Kailum used a mobile phone to take 750 individual 'selfies' of light passing through different body parts, a process which "interrogates some of the anxieties around ideas of embodiment and dislocation in our contemporary lives", Vanessa observed. "On the surface the work seems easy to read — an abstract photographic image — but on closer inspection you will find that the artist draws up a myriad of artistic, scientific and theoretical approaches to achieve this highly refined poetic ends."
The People's Choice award, as voted by Clayton Utz Brisbane partners and employees, was awarded to Lix North for her dramatic and arresting work, Insurgent (Self-Portrait).
Kailum said it was "totally unexpected and a great honour" to win. "This award is an incredible opportunity for all the artists involved given the exposure their work will receive over the next 12 months."
Clayton Utz Brisbane partner-in-charge Barry Dunphy said the firm was proud to support young and emerging Queensland artists such as Kailum and Lix in a tangible way. "Being actively involved in and supporting our local communities is part of our DNA at Clayton Utz. The Clayton Utz Art Award is a way for us to not only support our home-grown artists financially to advance their careers, but it also creates an opportunity to help showcase their talents to a wider audience.
"Each year we display the finalists' pieces in our reception area and meeting offices, where they are regularly a talking point for our staff and our clients. The diversity and creativity of the works never disappoints."
Clayton Utz would like to acknowledge and thank Brett Lethbridge of Lethbridge Gallery for his continued support in co-ordinating and managing the Clayton Utz Art Award.