28 July 2016
Victorian artist Richard Lewers has won the $100,000 Basil Sellers Art Prize for a series of paintings capturing the agony of sporting defeat.
The series, called The Theatre of Sports, depicts fraught moments in Australian sporting history including Ian Thorpe after a swimming loss, martial arts champion Ronda Rousey after losing her title, athlete Sally Pearson after breaking her wrist and the Freemantle Dockers after losing the 2013 Grand Final.
Lewers claims he was drawn to the subject after Ian Thorpe's struggle with depression was made public.
The biennial Basil Sellers Art Prize is awarded to artists who engage with the many themes within sport past and present, and to contribute to critical reflection on all forms of sport and sporting culture in Australia.
240 artists submitted entries to the 2016 Basil Sellers Art Prize. Finalists
include Abdul Abdullah, Fiona McMonagle, Shaun Gladwell and Kate Daw.
The finalists of the 2016 Basil Sellers Art prize will exhibit at the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne until 6 November 2016.