Justine Varga

Justine Varga in TarraWarra Biennial 2018

Justine Varga has been selected alongside nearly 30 artists for the TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form. Varga will exhibit six photographic pieces including three from her most recent series Photogenic Drawing. From Will to Form is accompanied by a range of performances, artist talks and a comprehensive catalogue, providing audiences with a variety of contemporary art experiences.

From throwing liquid bronze to whistling for three days straight, the TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form considers how the wild, intangible forces that animate behaviour might be present within an artwork.

For the sixth TarraWarra Biennial, 23 artists and one artist group from across Australia will present anarchic and persistent energies in a range of sculpture, painting, performance and film works. For some artists, will is drawn from a relationship to country and earth, while for others it is channeled through the psyche. Other artists highlight the role of the body as either a conduit for, or a concealer of, wilful forces.

The Biennial includes 19 new commissions, performance events and works that refigure the spaces of TarraWarra Museum of Art itself, including Bidjara, Ghangalu and Garingbal artist Dale Harding’s site-specific 30m-long painting on the renowned Vista Walk wall as well as new works from Vicki Couzens, Claire Lambe, Michelle Ussher, Mike Parr and Rob McLeish among many others.

TarraWarra Biennial 2018: From Will to Form artists:

Belle Bassin (VIC); Vicki Couzens (VIC); Naomi Eller (VIC); Artists from Erub Arts (Torres Strait); Starlie Geikie (VIC); Agatha Gothe-Snape (NSW); Julie Gough (TAS); Dale Harding (QLD); Claire Lambe (VIC); Lindy Lee (NSW); Bridie Lunney (VIC); Rob McLeish (VIC); John Meade (VIC); Sanné Mestrom (VIC); Alison Murray (QLD); Michelle Nikou (SA); Kusum Normoyle (NSW); Mike Parr (NSW); Michael Snape (NSW); Hiromi Tango (NSW); Fairy Turner (WA); Michelle Ussher (NSW); Justine Varga (NSW); Isadora Vaughan (VIC).

For more information, visit www.twma.com.au, TarraWarra Biennial until November 6.

2017 National Self-Portrait Prize

Congratulations to Justine Varga and Paul Yore, who have been selected as Finalist for the invite-only 2017 National Self-Portrait Prize 2017! The $50,000 acquisitive prize will be exhibited at The University of Queensland Art Museum, and the theme for this year’s prize is Look at me looking at you. 

The title is from the song (I’m) Stranded by The Saints. Recorded in Brisbane in 1976, (I’m) Stranded quickly became an instant Australian cult hit and is now a classic. The Saints orbited around punk rock rather than being fully-fledged members. Their intelligent, bombastic, and pioneering attitude suits a more singular outlier vision rather than being part of any hip gang or fashionable style.

Most of the artists in Look at me looking at you are also in this spirit, revelling in aspects of the hand-made, the hand-me-down, the urgent and the everyday. They come from a diverse range of backgrounds and ages, are at different points in their careers, and create a variety of touchpoints, from celebrating the banality of the everyday through to pop music, family relationships, and the nature of identity.

The Winner will be announced at the opening of the exhibition, which runs from November 11 to February 18.

For the full list of participating artists, click here.

Justine Varga announced as WINNER of the 2017 Olive Cotton Photography Award

Congratulations to Justine Varga, Winner of the 2017 Olive Cotton Award! The Olive Cotton Award for photographic portraiture is a $20,000 biennial national award for excellence in photographic portraiture, dedicated to the memory of photographer Olive Cotton. Varga’s winning piece, Maternal Line, will also be acquired for the Tweed Regional Gallery collection.

Varga creates photographic works from an intimate exchange between a strip of film and the world that comes to be inscribed on it. Employing analogue techniques, sometimes using a camera and sometimes not, her exposures capture instantaneous moments or distill lengthy durational periods. In this portrait, Varga has imprinted directly on the negative, in collaboration with her maternal grandmother.

Award Judge Dr Shaune Lakin the Senior Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Australia stated:

“While Justine’s work is very contemporary, she’s also deeply interested in the history of photography. It’s a very complex photographic portrait: it made me think a lot about the act of the making a portrait – about what it means today to make a photograph of someone else, even if in the end it doesn’t reveal what they look like. But photography has never just been about appearance. It’s also been part of the way that we experience things like memory and relationships. The image – a series of scrawls made by the artist’s grandmother directly onto a piece of film – has been printed at monumental scale. It’s a very moving portrait of the artist’s relationship with and love for her grandmother.”

Exhibition runs until October 8 at Tweed Regional Gallery.

Full media release here.

Justine Varga, Finalist in the 2017 Ramsay Art Prize

Congratulations to Justine Varga, who has been announced as a Finalist in the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize! The $100,000 acquisitive prize will be held biannually, and will be awarded to an artist under the age of 40.

The Ramsay Art Prize invites submissions from Australian contemporary artists under 40 working in any medium. Held every two years and presented by the James & Diana Ramsay Foundation, the Ramsay Art Prize is an ongoing acquisitive prize. Finalists are selected by an international judging panel.

Made without a camera over extended periods of time, the photographs of Justine Varga offer an autobiographical witnessing of the world; a memoire rather than merely an act of representation.

In Varga’s practice, film registers performative gestures, or in some instances, the film is drawn upon, handled, scratched, spat on and weathered, among other things. Exposed to light for periods of months and even years, the film is processed and then printed at large scale in the darkroom – itself a process of transformation. Functioning as ‘ravaged memorials to lived experience’, the works appear to be abstractions, but are, in fact, rigorous distillations of the real.

See Varga’s work at The Art Gallery of South Australia from May 27 to August 27.

For more information and a full list of finalists, click here.

Justine Varga, WINNER of the JUWS Photography Award

Congratulations to Justine Varga on winning the 2016 Josephine Ulrick & Win Schubert Photography Award!

The $20,000 prize has been awarded to Justine for her work ‘Marking Time’. This is the second time Varga has won this prestigious prize, the first being in 2013. This year the prize was judged by Professor Susan Best from Griffith University’s Queensland College of Art. In addition to this prize the Gold Coast City Gallery has acquired Marking Time.

“Marking Time is a chromogenic, hand-printed, cameraless photograph that sits at the edge of forgetfulness. The product of a duration of bodily actions (in which a piece of film was drawn on and handled, among other things), each mark, action and moment slips into the next. The palimpsestic quality of this photograph, where a drawn layer submits to, is subsumed by, the laying down of yet another – manifests the act of remembering as a kind of magic writing pad. These elements are embodied within the photograph, which has become a bruised skin of emulsion supported by a fragile armature of memory.”

All finalists work will be exhibited at the Gold Coast City Gallery from 25 June – 21 August 2016.

We’re very excited to see Varga’s most recent work in September for her solo show Memoire at Hugo Michell Gallery.

See Gold Coast City Gallery website for additional programs and more information.

Justine Varga at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery

Justine Varga is presenting work in an exhibition titled Emanations – The Art of the Cameraless Photograph at Govett-Brewster Art Gallery in New Zealand. Exhibiting alongside other artists: Thomas Ruff, Shimpei Takeda and Christian Marlay we’re thrilled for Justine and this international opportunity. 

The exhibition runs from the 29th of April till the 14th of August

Justine Varga, finalist in the National Photography Prize at MAMA

Congratulations to Justine Varga who has been announced as a finalist in the National Photography Prize at MAMA (Murray Art Museum Albury). Established in 1983, the biennial prize is valued at $50,000 making it the richest photography prize in Australia.

Opening on Saturday the 21st of May, the selected acquisition from this prize will join a collection of more than 90 works.

For more information click here!

Works from Justine Varga’s ‘Accumulate’ Series Acquired by the National Gallery of Australia

Three works from Justine Varga’s Accumulate series have been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia!

EdgeEnter and Exit (Red state) are now on display at the NGA as part of Australian Art Now.

Congratulations to Justine on this most exciting acquisition!

Justine Varga, Finalist in the 2015 Bowness Photography Prize

Congratulations to Justine Varga, who has been announced as a finalist in the 2015 Bowness Photography Prize! Now in its 10th year, the non-acquisitive prize was established to promote excellence in Australian Contemporary photography. The finalists will be exhibited at the Monash Gallery of Art, open from 25 September with an official launch on 1 October, when the winner will be announced.

For more details, visit www.mga.org.

Justine Varga, Enter, 2015, from Accumulate, type C hand print, 123.5 x 98.5 cm, ed. of 5.

Image: Justine Varga, Enter, 2015, from Accumulate, type C hand print, 123.5 x 98.5 cm, ed. of 5.