The ‘beautiful’ game

Keeping the bastards honest—a huge print capturing the tribal chaos of a football riot—has won first prize at this year’s Fremantle Arts Centre Print Award.

It’s Australia’s richest and most prestigious printmaking award and Evan Pank, an emerging artist from Sydney, pocketed a cool $16,000 for winning.

The almost four-metre long print will now become part of the City of Fremantle Art Collection.

Pank’s work explores the influence of sport and fan culture in Australian society and politics, and it was the first time he had tried his luck at the Fremantle Print Award.

• Evan Pank’s Keeping the Bastards Honest. Photo supplied

“I entered because I really wanted to reach a new audience,” he says.

“I was ecstatic just to be named a finalist, so it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet that I actually won.”

There were 301 submissions from around Australia, whittled down to 56 by judges Rebecca Beardmore (NSW), André Lipscombe (WA) and Franchesca Cubillo (ACT).

The 2017 awards have seen a move away from digital and back to old-school print making.

“With evidence of hand processing…ink and a real engagement with the physicality of print making,” award coordinator Emma Buswell says of his piece.

• Valerie Sparks’ Prospero’s Island South West. Photo supplied

Second prize ($6000) was taken out by Melbourne artist Valerie Sparks for Prospero’s Island South West, a moody and dark seascape.

WA artists Nathan Beard and Andrew McDonald were highly commended by the judges.

The prints can be seen at the Fremantle Arts Centre on Finnerty Street.

by JENNY D’ANGER

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