Dale Cox and Sarah Tomasetti – Finalists in the 2019 R&M McGivern Prize

In News October 3, 2019

Sarah Tomasetti, Outer Kora (2019), oil on fresco plaster on muslin, 80 x 99 cm

Congratulations to Dale Cox and Sarah Tomasetti, who have been selected as finalists in the 2019 R&M McGivern Prize at

The R & M McGivern Prize was established by the will of the late Muriel Evelyn McGivern and is a legacy of Muriel’s support of the arts in Maroondah. The prize is awarded every three years by the Trustee for an outstanding, original art work in the medium of painting.

The R & M McGivern Prize is an acquisitive award and the winning art work will become the property of the Maroondah City Council Art Collection. The Prize aims to promote artistic excellence in painting and build a high quality collection for the Maroondah region.

For each year that the Prize is held, a different theme is selected. The 2019 R & M McGivern Prize for painting calls all artists from around Australia to address the theme of the ANTHROPOCENE.

The Anthropocene describes an era proposed by scientists that dates from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth’s geology and ecosystems. Anthropocene directly translates to ‘anthro’ (human) ‘cene’ (recent). The concept proposes that the changes taking place within the environment may be a direct result of the behaviour of humans, inviting artists to create a conversations around human impact, the environment, colonialism, sustainability, industrialisation, geology and ecology.

Exhibition of the finalist’s works will be from 23 November 2019 to 1 February 2020 across two venues in the Ringwood arts precinct – Maroondah Federation Estate Gallery and ArtSpace at Realm.

Sarah TomasettiOuter Kora

For centuries pilgrims have prostrated themselves to complete the Kora around the base of Mt Kailash on the Tibetan Plateau, believed by Buddhists and Hindus to be the navel of the world and the source of all life.  Only after completing the outer Kora may pilgrims progress to the inner circuit.

In the painting Outer Kora we see the north face of Mt Kailash on the verge of disappearance, framed by a landscape made up of tiny marks that might scatter in a breath of wind. At the dawn of the Anthropocene, how might nature resonate at the centre of human consciousness?

Dale Cox

Dale Cox, Untitled, acrylic on board, 110 x 90cm

Dale CoxUntitled 

When it comes to the immediate climate emergency the world faces in the next decade, we are still ‘shuffling deckchairs on the Titanic’. Climate change is very real, our biggest threat and our most urgent responsibility. Art has a role to play in acknowledging this fact. Here we see collective humanity stripped to our common element, the skeleton. As stewards of the Earth, literally holding its fate in our hands, are we up to the task?