Jacob Leary wins the 2012 John Fries Memorial Prize for Emerging Visual Artists

Tasmanian artist, Jacob Leary, was awarded the JFMP non-aquisitive $10,000 prize for his installation, Technological Causality, at the opening of the 2012 John Fries Memorial Prize for Emerging Visual Artists Finalists Exhibition, last night at Gaffa Galleries Sydney. The judges (Bronwyn Bancroft, Kath Fries and Wayne Tunnicliffe) also highly commended Cigdem Aydemir’s video work, Extremist Activity (swing) and commended Kate Shaw’s painting, Milkwater.
In what first looks like an explosion of random objects filling a space, Jacob Leary’s installation is a careful meditation upon technological processes and how these technical developments create new realities in which we are immersed. Leary demonstrates the fine line between catastrophe and progress by showing us how fragmented parts come together to create a guiding whole.
(Venita Poblocki, Curator, 2012 John Fries Memorial Prize)

Jacob Leary, Technological Causality, installation
2012 John Fries Memorial Prize Winner, photograph by Gareth Lyons

This year the judges were unanimous in their decision, however I think it important to mention the highly commendable work of all of this year's participants. I find it so exciting to see such a high calibre of talent amongst Australia's emerging artists and think that prizes like this are crucial in supporting them. Jacob Leary has a forensic and fresh perception of the world he lives in. The winning piece is an extraordinary work with a strong sense of playfulness.
(Bronwyn Bancroft, Judge, 2012 John Fries Memorial Prize)

Jacob Leary’s winning artwork, Technological Causality, features in the exhibition with the other finalists: Cyrus Tang, Owen Leong, Nathan Taylor, Georgina Cue, Marc Standing, Fiona Jack, Carolyn V Watson, Paul Yore, Kittey Malarvie, Jacqueline Bradley, Philjames, Catherine Hockey, Adrian Spurr, Adam Laerkesen, George Shaw, Wanda Gillespie, Cath Robinson, Kate Shaw and Cigdem Aydemir.

The exhibition, curated by Venita Poblocki and assisted by Brit Katke, runs until 1 September and is open between Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm. Gaffa Galleries: 281 Clarence Street, Sydney.

The John Fries Memorial Prize for Emerging Visual Artists is an annual non-aquisative prize donated by the Fries family in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, who made a remarkable contribution to the life and success of Viscopy.  The competition is open to emerging Australian and New Zealand artists of all ages and disciplines who are not currently enrolled in tertiary studies and are not represented in a state or national public art collection.

The 2012 John Fries Memorial Prize for Emerging Visual Artists is administered by Viscopy, more information and images: