Nationals Member for Lismore Thomas George is pleased to announce today that Lismore artists Luke Close, Michael Philp and Penny Evans are finalists in the 2014 Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize – the most valuable art incentive on offer for Aboriginal artists born in or living in NSW. They are competing with 33 other artists for the $40,000 main cash prize, as well as the opportunity to win a coveted residency program at the University of New South Wales’ Art & Design campus (formerly known as COFA).

Close has been shortlisted for his work My Dreaming; an acrylic on canvas painting that explores the crossover of contemporary and natural worlds. Philp’s painting My Hearts Beacon explores issues of identity as does Evan’s Mapping Genealogy; a unique work that includes a 16 page book.

“Aboriginal people are a displaced peoples and everyone has their own journey of identity as a traumatic consequence of colonisation,” said Evans. “’Mapping Genealogy’ through research can take us on an extraordinary journey of discovery into culture, spirit, family and country.”

My Dreaming, My Hearts Beacon and Mapping Genealogy will be on display as part of a free public exhibition of the finalists’ work at the Parliament of NSW throughout October. Visitors can expect to be inspired, impressed and challenged by the exhibition, which includes an exciting mix of established and emerging artists commenting on a range of themes from the traditional, contemporary and natural world, through to politics, religion and social issues.

Digital photographs, handmade paper, sculptures, jewellery and paintings are among some of the techniques and styles on display in this years’ Prize, which attracted a record number of entries from across the State.

The 2014 Parliament of New South Wales Aboriginal Art Prize will be on display at the Parliament from Tuesday 30 September to Thursday 30 October 2014. Entry is free and doors are open 8am-5pm Monday to Friday. The winner (to be announced at the Parliament on Wednesday 15th October) will receive a $40,000 cash prize, whilst their work is acquisitive to the Parliament’s permanent fine art collection. In addition, over $120,000 in scholarships will be offered through UNSW Art & Design, including the UNSW Art & Design Indigenous Professional Development Award and two additional student scholarships.

Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 1800 336 166 or 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403  Email:

Authorised by Thomas George MP. Funded using Parliamentary entitlements.