UNSW Art & Design graduate wins TWT Excellence Prize

Carmen Glynn-Braun has won the TWT Excellence Prize for her work Untitled 2018, which explores Indigenous women’s experiences with the Assimilation Policy.

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Graduate Carmen Glynn-Braun with her prize-winning work Untitled 2018. Photo: Silver Salt Photography

UNSW Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) graduate Carmen Glynn-Braun has won the 2018 TWT Excellence Prize, which includes a $5000 grant, for her work Untitled 2018.

The annual prize, now in its second year, is part of a five-year partnership between UNSW Art & Design and the Bridging Hope Charity Foundation and was announced before the opening of the Art & Design ANNUAL 18 Graduate Exhibition on Tuesday.

ANNUAL 18, running until 8 December, is the largest national showcase of graduate contemporary art, design and media arts, with up to 200 creative practitioners participating in the event across seven venues.

UNSW Art & Design is recognised as one of the world’s leading art and design schools, with an outstanding record for producing critically acclaimed artists, designers and media creators, said faculty Dean Ross Harley.  

“The ANNUAL graduate exhibitions and screenings help launch the next generation of artists and designers. We’re delighted to have TWT and Bridging Hope support the exhibition of our graduates and the work of emerging artists and designers more generally.”

Glynn-Braun’s winning artwork symbolises how many Indigenous women lost their children under the Assimilation Policy (1951-1962) – a policy designed to obliterate Indigenous bloodlines by removing children from their families and ultimately ‘breeding out’ skin colour over generations.

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Carmen Glynn-Braun's work Untitled 2018. Photo: Silver Salt Photography

Untitled 2018 consists of four flesh-coloured paint skins which resemble the skin colours of Indigenous Australia today, post Stolen Generations.

The paint skins are suspended next to each other, with fairest to darkest in solidarity, standing in evidence of the continued survival and resilience of the Aboriginal people.

Glynn-Braun says she is humbled to receive such recognition.

“I am ecstatic to receive the TWT Excellence Prize, especially given I am graduating amongst many brilliant artists. I feel incredibly humbled and full of hope that our [Indigenous communities] very important stories have not only been well received but embraced.

“I hope my practice can remain a positive platform to preserve and honour Indigenous life experiences.”

Glynn-Braun was chosen from 200 graduating artists by a judging panel including Dean of UNSW Art & Design Ross Harley, Deputy Head of School (Design) Dr Mark Ian Jones, Senior Lecturer Debra Phillips and Arts Initiatives Manager at TWT and Bridging Hope Charity Foundation Ariel Zhang.

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Opening night at the ANNUAL 18 showcase. Photo: Silver Salt Photography

A statement from the judging panel says: “Carmen’s work Untitled 2018 is original in its theme and concept and innovative in its use of materiality incorporating acrylic paint, gold enamel and cosmetics. The judging panel was particularly impressed with Carmen’s ability to engage complex themes of identity and place in such a cohesive body of work. The judging panel are excited to see what Carmen will achieve with the generous support of the 2018 TWT Excellence Prize.”

The TWT Excellence Prize shortlist included the two highly commended artists Billy Bain and Dennis Golding, and artists Lisa Carrett, Zoe Gojnich, Angel Robertson and Aisya Yusoff.

The A&D ANNUAL exhibition runs until 8 December 2018 at UNSW Art & Design in Paddington.

Find out more about ANNUAL 18.