An Australian-first war memorial commemorating the efforts of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ service has earned one of the state’s top artistic prizes, also celebrating the work of a top sculptor.
The Ruby Awards were held at the Queen’s Theatre on Friday night with renowned Riverton realist artist Robert Hannaford (pictured in his self portrait above) awarded the Lifetime Achievement title for 2014.
Hannaford also collaborated on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, which won the Best Work award, sculpting the figures of the scene that were then bronzed. The memorial, created by Lee-Ann Buckskin, Tony Rosella and Michelle Nikou, was unveiled in 2013 and blends military and Aboriginal symbolism to honour indigenous servicemen and women.
Hannaford was a political cartoonist for three years in the mid 60s before pursuing art fulltime with a focus on painting and sculpting. His work includes the sculpture of Sir Donald Bradman at Adelaide Oval and the bronze statue of Roy Rene located on Hindley Street.
He is currently working on 13 original oil paintings of sefaring characters for a national multi-art form theatre project called Blue Angel.
Long-time film writer, director and producer Shane McNeil was commended for his sustained contribution to the South Australian arts industry. McNeil has taught media and film education in several universities and was a founding committee member of both the SHORTS Film Festival and SA Screen Industry Council. Most recently he wrote and directed the acclaimed Girt by Sea, an ABC Arts feature documentary.
All the winners:
Best work – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial (Memorial artists Lee-Ann Buckskin, Tony Rosella and Michelle Nikou; sculptor Robert Hannaford and bronze caster Tim Thomson)
Best event – 2014 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art (Dark Heart, Art Gallery of South Australia) and Adelaide Film Festival / Adelaide Festival of Ideas
Community or regional impact under $100,000 – Sons and Mothers (No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability)
Community or regional impact over $100,000 – Pom Pom (Children’s contemporary art space, Carclew and Playford communities for children plus)
Innovation – Adhocracy (Vitalstatistix)
Arts Enterprise – Bowerbird (Adelaide’s Design Market)
Sustained contribution by an Organisation or Group – Helpmann Academy for the visual and performing arts
Sustained contribution by an individual – Shane McNeil
Geoff Crowhurst Memorial Award – Bob Daly and Kalyna Micenko
Premier’s Award for Lifetime Achievement – Robert Hannaford
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