Inaugural Jack Wilkins Art Prize – Experimental Photography Competition Underway | The standard

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Five years after his death, Warrnambool photographer John ‘Jack’ Wilkins is being honored in a new art competition. Submissions for the first Jack Wilkins Art Prize – Experimental Photography are open until March 14. The award is intended to commemorate his life and contribution to the art world at the F Project Gallery. Wilkins was a prominent Warrnambool photographer whose work has been exhibited locally and at the National Gallery of Victoria. He was a university lecturer in photography for 16 years. Wilkins lost his battle with prostate cancer, aged 71, in 2017. His wife Param Ratnam hosted the competition. “I wish I had told him I was going to do this,” she said. “He’s someone who never liked anyone to put themselves forward but I think he would have been really pleased.” Ms Ratnam said months after her death, a group show honoring her love for relationships – Beyond Connections (also turned into a book) – took place. Another exhibition was supposed to take place in 2019, but then COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. “When he passed away, I was too devastated, so I was talking to Des (Bunyon) (of the F Project) about having an art award in his name for emerging artists,” Ms Ratnam said. “Jack was a lecturer at Deakin University in Warrnambool and always enjoyed working with young people so I thought an emerging artist award would be appropriate. Mentally I wasn’t ready to organize that, so last year I thought ‘Warrnambool will forget about him’.” Two anonymous donors have come forward to fund the nonacquired award. First place is a copy of one of his works and $1000, and second place is just a copy of one of his works. A selection of the projects will be exhibited at the F Project Gallery from April 6 to May 1. The competition is open to all experience levels. Ms Ratnam said organizers plan to hold the competition every year, hoping to include a painting category next year. “Because he loved all the arts,” she said. IN OTHER NEWS: Listen to our new series The Folkie Podcast, only on Spotify. Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can access our trusted content: Now just a click away with our new app: Digital subscribers now have the option to receive information faster, at their fingertips with The Standard:


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