A COLLABORATION built on more than 10 years of friendship and a northern suburb are behind the $7000 acquisitive prize in this year’s City of Joondalup Community Invitation Art Award.
Trevor Bly and Patrick Doherty’s It’s Not a Party Without the Devil features a silk screen print of the bearded Bly, Doherty’s painted-on red devil head and Craigie’s postcode 6025 tagged like graffiti.
It hangs between their other two framed print-screen and paint commentaries on place and Australia, Salvation and Locals Only, and among the work of 14 other artists at Lakeside Joondalup Shopping City.
“Once I’m happy with the results of the silk-screen process, I hand it over to Pat and say ‘that’s your half now’,” Bly told the Weekender at Friday’s award ceremony.
“It will sit with him for a week or two, then I’ll get it back and something will change on it; then I’ll do something back and vice-versa and that’s how the collaborative partnership works.
“I have confidence in him to take it to that level where I can’t. And he has trust in me to refine the bits I think are going to work well together. I don’t get the final say because we both have to agree. For him this (It’s Not a Party Without the Devil) is his favourite out of the three.”
Bly had no idea his colleague would add a devil’s head to the right shoulder of his self-portrait. Why did he paint the demon sad? “Because I tend to suffer from harsh depression and Trevor’s quite a happy guy,” Doherty said.
“We’re completely different people but it works well.”
Doherty said it was unexpected but “lovely” to win. Bly, too, was surprised.
“I didn’t think we would win because of the nature of the artwork,” Bly said.
“I didn’t think the shopping centre, the councillors and judges would be ready to accept the themes, the aesthetics running through it.
“I was wrong apparently which is a nice surprise.”
The exhibition will be at Lakeside Joondalup until October 31. Visitors can vote for a People’s Choice Award.
INVITATION ART AWARD WINNERS
Commended: Christophe Canato for Self-Portrait, Inspired by Patricia Piccinini.
Excellence Award $2000: Nathan Beard, Agnosia.
Celebrating Joondalup $2000: Mike Gray, Lakeside.
Runner-up $2000: Tim Burns, Pit Camp 1 After the Fire 5.
Acquisitive Award $7000: Trevor Bly and Patrick Doherty, It’s Not a Party Without the Devil.
BLY FINDS SAVING GRACE IN HIS ART
SALVATION is real for award-winning Craigie artist Trevor Bly.
One of the works he submitted with long-time friend Patrick Doherty for this year’s City of Joondalup invitation art award features a print screen of the word salvation. What did it mean to him?
“I graduated from Craigie High School in 1996. I didn’t think I was doing anything else but art, that was the goal. I guess the whole idea of living off the art work by making something of where I came from, Craigie; that’s the salvation in it all. That suburb is where I grew up it’s my neighbourhood. I know all about it, I’m still there now. A lot of people write it off and I understand why. But still. To have those relationships and connections; I don’t want to get too kind of arty but it is kind of that church, connection, my spirituality you have with a neighbourhood or place.”
ARTISTIC ENERGY PRAISED
JUDGES praised the energy and eclecticism of the work of winning artists Trevor Bly and Patrick Doherty.
They included WA Art Gallery curator Robert Cook, ECU visual art lecturer Gregory Pryor and visiting New York-based artist Brandon Ballengee.
“The work stood out for its material and conceptual complexity,” the judges said. “The ubiquitous black ink of the offset or screen commercial printer is punctured with the staccato energy of short bursts from the spray can.
“The artist is writ large here, rather gaudily ennobled in his historical garb. Sure, there is a constant party going on in Craigie (the postcode tag in the bottom right hand corner), but the devil is exhausted.
“He looks spent and tired and the rendering suggests a hand that has been painting the town red all night.
“The collaborative nature of this work expertly brings together an artist well versed in the language of the manual or gestural mark with someone totally familiar with the matrix of the screen and how it can rapidly embody and multiply powerful and direct images, texts and signs.”