One Million Dollar Gift
Major Photography Award Assured a Long Future ~
CDC’s Alasdair Foster spoke at the dinner on 9 May held in honour of Mrs Win Schubert AO, who has given one million dollars to the Gold Coast City Art Gallery to allow them to run the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award in perpetuity. Since its inception in 2002, the award has been the means by which an exhibition of some of Australia’s most exciting photomedia art comes together each year.
He spoke about the importance of photography in gaining insight and building empathy and its tendency to raise ethical questions that are important for communities, especially in times of change. You can read the full text of his speech here.
Earlier that day, the Gold Coast City Art Gallery launched a magnificent book documenting the history of the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Awards. Entitled ‘Prizing Diversity’, it combines illustrations of all the winning photographs and award acquisitions from 2002–2014 accompanied by poems and short stories that won literature prizes also funded by the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Foundation.
Each year the winning photographer receives a cash prize of $20,000, while a further $10,000 is available to acquire work for the gallery’s permanent collection.
“In its eclecticism and openness, the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award at the Gold Coast Art Gallery provide, like the ancient Greek agora, a latter-day ‘meeting place for strangers’. They draw their artists from across the nation and their audiences from all areas of the local community and those from further afield visiting the resort city.”
During the launch event, Alasdair Foster delivered an illustrated talk discussing some of the key images and the importance of the award exhibition to both photographers and the wider community.
Describing the image used on the cover of the book – Shaun Gladwell’s ‘The Flying Dutchman in Blue (Coogee 2)’ which won the award in 2014 – Alasdair Foster said:
“A figure faces the turbulent chaos of an oncoming wave with outstretched arms. He welcomes whatever is to come. It is as broad and generous a gesture as it is a brave and sensuous one. He is opening himself to the full power of the experience… come what may… And that is a very good way to approach an art gallery!”
An essay version of Alasdair Foster’s talk can be read in ‘Prizing Diversity’. Edited by Virginia Rigney and Nigel Krauth, and published by Thames and Hudson, the 270-page casebound book is available through all good bookstores, RRP $60.00.