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Sydney artists Jess Olivieri and Hayley Forward win John Fries Memorial Prize
Jess Olivieri and Hayley Forward shot Harlequins V's Visitors at Sydney’s Campbelltown Showgrounds, home to the Harlequins rugby team.
SYDNEY.- Two Sydney artists whose video work features the Sydney Chamber Choir have won the fourth John Fries Memorial Prize for emerging artists, worth $10,000.

Jess Olivieri and Hayley Forward shot Harlequins V's Visitors at Sydney’s Campbelltown Showgrounds, home to the Harlequins rugby team. The work calls an imaginary game between art and sport through a series of vocal warm-ups sung by the choir.

John Fries Memorial Prize curator Sebastian Goldspink said the judges felt the work was “a beautiful meld of sound and video working together”.

“The judging process was extremely challenging due to the consistently high standard of work across the prize’s 22 finalists from all over Australia. However, the judge’s decision was ultimately unanimous as the work reflected the spirit of the prize,” he said.

Two works, also videos, were highly commended: Brisbane’s Chris Bennie for his evocative car park imagery featuring a family of swallows, called The Western Fields; and Melbourne’s George Egerton-Warburton’s work, Boredom is a desk with human legs in a fish spa, featuring a dramatic monologue.

Renowned contemporary art philanthropist, Dr Gene Sherman AM, officially opened the John Fries Memorial Prize exhibition at Sydney’s Gaffa Galleries last night, while the award was announced by the prize’s benefactor, Vivienne Fries. The prize was established by the Fries family in memory of former Viscopy director and honorary treasurer, John Fries, and is supported by Copyright Agency I Viscopy. The exhibition runs until 14 September at Gaffa Gallery in Sydney.

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