Epic landscape by Shoufay Derz takes out the Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award

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epic landscape by shoufay derz takes out the sotheby’s australia people’s choice awar
Shoufay DERZ Under erasure  2018 from the series Via negative pigment ink-jet print 128.0 x 160.0 cm courtesy of the artist

‘The Bowness Photography Prize uniquely captures what is going on in contemporary Australian photography as a reflection of the broader social and political environment within which we all live. The Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award gives a voice to our audiences to vote on the work that resonates with them. This year we are delighted that Shoufay Derz has been chosen for a stunningly beautify large scale work that explores the scarred landscape of north-west region of Turkmenistan that has been heavily eroded over time.’— Anouska Phizacklea, MGA Director

The MGA Foundation and Sotheby’s Australia are delighted to announce that Shoufay Derz has been awarded the 2019 Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award.

In 2018 Sotheby’s Australia became the proud sponsor of the Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award. Sotheby’s Australia is the premier auctioneer of art and jewels within Australia, and extols creativity and scholarship. The MGA Foundation announced earlier this year that the prize awarded to the recipient has increased to $5,000 which will provide significant encouragement and support to the selected artist. Sotheby’s Australia’s support of the Bowness Photography Prize is a reflection of the national and historic importance of this prize and the MGA Foundation is profoundly grateful to partner with Sotheby’s Australia for this award.

The 2019 Bowness Photography Prize shortlist was an outstanding selection of Australian artists that reveal a picture of Australia as a multicultural, quirky and extraordinary place. Curated from nearly 700 entries these works collectively create a cohesive snapshot of contemporary photographic practice today.

The Bowness Photography Prize is an important survey of contemporary photographic practice and one of the most prestigious prizes in the country, providing Australian artists with the opportunity to exhibit at one of Australia’s leading public galleries. Since 2017 the prize has been acquisitive and the $30,000 cash prize awarded to the winner ensures that it continues to provide a significant boost to an artist’s career. The Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award has been doubled this year from $2,500 to $5,000.

Australian photography as a reflection of the broader social and political environment within which we all live. The Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award gives a voice to our audiences to vote on the work that resonates with them. This year we are delighted that Shoufay Derz has been chosen for a stunningly beautify large scale work that explores the scarred landscape of north-west region of Turkmenistan that has been heavily eroded over time.’

‘Every year, when crowds flock to Monash Gallery of Art to see the Bowness Photography Prize, we see why Australia’s leading photographers are regarded with such esteem.  Sotheby’s Australia is honoured to participate in this annual celebration of home-grown photography and we are delighted to award a prize that encourages artists to continue developing Australia’s unique perspective in this medium.

Intimate and theatrical, introspective and extroverted, the works that were considered for this year’s Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award embody a truly stunning range of emotional and artistic expression.  We warmly congratulate the recipient of the 2019 Sotheby’s Australia People’s Choice Award – Shoufay Derz’s other-worldly landscape ‘Under erasure’ (2018) – and wish her our sincere congratulations.’ — Geoffrey Smith, Chairman, Sotheby’s Australia

‘Under erasure’ is an image of Yangykala (fiery fortresses) in the north-west region of Turkmenistan in the Balkan region. Photographed on medium format film, no drones were used. This work is part of an ongoing series about ‘badlands’, terrains heavily eroded by wind and water, and holes in the landscape. Once the bottom of the ancient Tethys Sea, the canyon is the memory of wind and water. Photography about landscape is not only a celebration of mysterious beauty but also a lament on the transience of our time on Earth and its future.