One of Georgia Spain's paintings was taking up more than its fair share of her Tasmanian studio. So she thought one way of freeing up some room would be to send it to the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney as an entry into the Sir John Sulman Prize.
A few weeks later she found out it had been shortlisted and a week after that, to her astonishment, it won. It was the first time she had entered the prize.
In selecting the winning work, guest judge Elisabeth Cummings said the painting was a strong, confident image full of energy and movement and that the artist's use of the figure was imaginative and very much her own.
This recognition was not a one-off. Georgia was one of five to receive the Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship less than a year earlier and won the Women's Art Prize Tasmania in the same week as winning the Sulman. I got the impression, though, that, although the accolades were welcome, what was more important was to continue to create and explore without placing too much importance on them or on commercial success.
Although only 27, Georgia has exhibited in five solo shows across Tasmania, NSW and Victoria. She is also a singer and songwriter and her album ‘Trouble Isn’t Something You Can Hold’, recorded in 2017, draws from major life experiences and helped her through tragic times.
Georgia was born in London and lived in Ireland until she was nine before migrating to Australia. She now lives in Tasmania with her partner.
To hear our conversation press 'play' beneath the above feature photo.
Portrait photo supplied by the artist
Links to things we talked about in the show
Georgia Spain on Instagram Solo show 'One to Another' at Egg and Dart GalleryBrett Whiteley Travelling Art ScholarshipSir John Sulman PrizeGeorgia's album 'Trouble Isn't Something You Can Hold'YouTube video of Georgia's song 'Parasite'Oscar Lush on Instagram
'Getting down or falling up', acrylic on canvas, 180.6 x 187.5 cmWinner: Sir John Sulman Prize, 2021
'Six Different Women', 2021, acrylic on canvas, 110 x 95cmWinner: Women's art Prize, Tasmania, 2021
'Pantomime', 2021, acrylic on canvas 134.5 x 113cm
'Standing, Waiting, Kissing, Waving, etc.', 2021, acrylic on canvas150 x 200cm
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