Blunt Edge Of Portraiture returns for sixth year this Saturday
Cairns' own tongue-in-cheek take on the Archibald Portrait Prize returns for a sixth year this weekend.
Created in 2007 by Cairns’ Roland Nancarrow and Dominic Johns, The Blunt Edge Of Portraiture has long been considered a rite of passage for local artists and is one of the most highly anticipated arts events of the year.
The concept behind Blunt Edge is simple – artists put their name in a barrel before being randomly drawn as the subject matter by the other artists participating in the exhibition.
The beauty of Blunt is that artists never know who you are painting until the names are drawn, meaning they only have a short time to get to know their subject and produce their work.
In Roland’s words, it “keeps it blunt”.
Works can be anything from the size of a mattress to a matchbox and in any medium, leaving the artists creativity to run wild and produce some of the most dynamic and interesting pieces of the year.
A variety of awards are given on the big night, from the prestigious Blunt trophy for the big winner, through to the The Early Bird Award (first work delivered); The William Dobel Caricature Award; The Hill Benson Award (photography), The Michelangelo Award (Sculpture), The Mofo Award (these winners will get to collaborate with Sam Tupou, one of Cairns’ leading artists), The Dingo Award (Most Aussie work); People’s Choice (Sponsored by justpurple); WTF Award (What the ----) and the Smorgasbord Award (Mixed Media), among others.
Dominic Johns says with over 80 artists on board, this year’s Blunt Edge is the biggest in the competitions six-year history and he’s been surprised at the huge variety in the work in the 2012 submissions.
“It’s looking really good,” he says.
“We’ve got a wide range of formats. We’ve had people dropping in barrels, etching plates with ink, mixed media, the usual paintings and other mixed media things.
“It’s really mixed this year, it’s gonna look great.”
Dominic says the entertainment on the big night will also be something to look out for, with a great selection of local musicians on board to keep the Blunt party kicking until the wee hours.
“It’s a great line-up of entertainment, it’s definitely bigger than any other year.
“We’ve got The Hot Wet Swing Set and Leanne Tennant on early, The Hillybilly Goats are the headline act followed by The Mod Cons and DJ Fred.
“I’d also like to thank our sponsors, we’ve had several local businesses on board and it’s really important to us in putting the show on.
“Segue Art is our major sponsor, and they are kind enough to pay for a bipartisan judge to come up.
“They are like ambassadors for us, they really believe in the Cairns art scene.
“They travel all over Australia doing exhibitions and they always tell me it’s so fresh up here.
“There is a vitality other places don’t have.”
The Blunt Edge Of Portraiture is at Pink Phoenix Studio Gallery on Saturday from 5pm-late. Entry is $5, all welcome. A licensed bar will be in operation for the duration of the night.
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Blunt duo: co-creators Dominic Johns and Roland Nancarrow get ready for Blunt Edge of Portraiture 2012.