Ngarrindjeri, Nurungga, Ngadjuri woman Sonya Rankine, was announced the winner of the $5,000 Don Dunstan Foundation Our Mob Emerging Artist Prize during the 2019 OUR MOB opening at Adelaide Festival Centre.
This well-deserved win for Sonya has created the opportunity of investing in her weaving business, Lakun Mara (meaning Weaving Hand), which focuses on the revival and maintenance of traditional Ngarrindjeri weaving techniques and cultural practice.
Two of Sonya’s sculptures titled ‘Lakun Mara 13 – Pinyali Pempandawi (Emu Basket)’ and ‘Lakun Mara 14 – Partar Pempandawi (Rock Basket) caught the judges eyes and won them over.
These sculptures are made from jacaranda stalks, beach stone, waxed linen thread, palm inflorescence, and emu feathers.
Sonya said, “My weaving is about reviving and maintaining culture and the tradition of the Ngarrindjeri weabving through creating contemporary Aboriginal art.”
Along with Sonya’s successful prize win, two other awards were given on opening night, including: the Country Arts SA Professional Development Initiative Award, won by 42 year old Rowena Williams of Coober Pedy; and the Ku Arts OUR YOUNG MOB Award, won by 18 year old Leshaye Swan of Adelaide.
The 2019 OUR MOB program features three free exhibitions: OUR MOB, works by South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists; OUR YOUNG MOB, works by Aboriginal artists 18 years and under and the Don Dunstan Foundation Prize Showcase, produced by last year’s Emerging Artist Award recipient Tony Wilson.
Douglas Gautier AM, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director said “What began as a survey of visual art is now one of our most important annual programs, bringing artists, industry partners, and arts organisations from all over the state together in a celebration of art and community.”“
The 2019 OUR MOB program will be held at QBE Galleries, Festival Theatre Foyer, Adelaide Festival Centre from August 23 to October 6 from 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
For more information on the 2019 OUR MOB exhibition, head here.