ANU School of Art lecturer Raquel Ormella has won the 2012 Fisher’s Ghost Art Award for her Australian flag-inspired artwork, Poetic Possibility.
Ms Ormella was presented with the award, which included $40,000 prize money, at an event at the Campbelltown Arts Centre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the prize earlier this month.
Ms Ormella said she was pleased to be recognised by the South West Sydney region’s major cultural venue. “The Campbelltown Arts Centre commissions and delivers innovative, high-quality contemporary cultural programs for the growing communities of greater Sydney and beyond,” she said.
"The Centre’s multi‐disciplinary approach brings together visual arts, performance, live art, music, dance and new media practice and it provides opportunities for communities to engage with contemporary ideas and issues. I am really pleased that this work has found a home in their collection and will be brought into conversation with other art forms as well as contemporary political, Indigenous and colonial art."
Raquel continues, “Art is a place where we can imagine new identities and futures. It is a place of poetic speculation. Poetic Possibility takes a blank blue flag and the Australian flag puts these two elements in a conversation with each other to see what might emerge."
Raquel Ormella, Poetic Possibility. Image credit: Jaggarth
“I started with the idea to erase the Australian flag with its own motifs. I took the Federation Star and those that make up the Southern Cross and repeated these across the field of the flag by burning small holes and dots, reminiscent of central desert painting, into the negative space. In this way, the flag became a Milky Way of potentially different constellations and connections.
”For 10 years I have been working with the form of fabric banners and flags, which borrow their aesthetics from sporting, fan and protest banners. These works often commented directly on political events and situations. Poetic Possibility marks a shift away from this work towards a more open-ended speculation on what kind of discussion or comment art can offer to social situations. Sometimes poetic imagining also creates potential and energy for actual social change.”