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Blake art prize winner 'evokes humanity in all'

Australian Catholic University Chancellor Br Julian McDonald presented the 2004 Blake Prize for Religious Art to Ana Wojak, for her work, Pieta (Darfur), at Sydney's Sir Hermann Black Gallery on Thursday.

More than 400 entries were received for the 2004 prize, which is worth $10,000.

"Miss Wojak's work was selected by the judges for its ability to evoke the humanity in us all," said Br McDonald. "It is a compassionate work that, unlike the traditional image of the Pieta, addresses men's tears and grief for their loss. The material used brings an image of the drought and hardship under which the Sudan is currently suffering. It is an important work that calls us to an awareness of the need for peace and justice in our world."

"The Blake Prize provides a unique opportunity for Australian artists to share the meaning of religion with art lovers," said Br McDonald.

"ACU National has embraced this opportunity to encourage artists to explore religious and spiritual themes by sponsoring this exhibition. The University has been a proud sponsor of the Blake Prize since 1999," he said.

"Sponsoring the Blake Prize is an important part of the University's engagement with the broader community," said Br McDonald. "ACU National seeks to develop in its students a sense of the sacred in life and a respect for the spiritual and personal values of others."

"I encourage Australian art lovers to visit this inspirational exhibition and to think about the meaning conveyed in the works on display," he said.

The exhibition will be on display at the Sir Hermann Black Gallery until 18 December. A selection of works will then tour Australia in 2005, including the ACU National galleries located on ACU National's Strathfield and Melbourne Campuses.

Since 1951 the Blake Society has awarded an annual prize for a work of art with a religious or spiritual theme.

"Named after the visionary artist and poet, William Blake, the prize is the most important bequest for religious and spiritual art in Australia," said Br McDonald.

ACU National awards Blake Prize winner $10,000 (Australian Catholic University 19/11/04)

The Blake Prize
ACU National Gallery @ Strathfield
ACU National
Poetical ribs take religious art prize (CathNews 13/11/03)

22 Nov 2004