Josh Foley

Gee's Lookout, 2011

oil & pumice on canvas

75 x 110cm

From the artist

Gee's Lookout, a tract of land that abuts Launceston's Gorge, has an apocalyptic vibe created by debris, wrecked houses and sprawling unrestricted junk. The lookout affords a wonderful view of the dichotomy between two ways of seeing Tasmania – on the one hand old and mysterious, on the other new and vibrant. There is this sense of looking forward and looking backwards at the same time.

Judges Comments

This work stands out as being unlike any of the other works in this year's prize. It investigates how paint behaves and how the viewer reads it. Gee's Lookout is an internalized interpretation of a real urban site.
Foley has depicted tangled masses of brush marks that appear to be three-dimensional, occasionally breaking into thick texture and thereby combining illusion with reality. His carefully simulated brush strokes represent the landscape but also parody the application of paint.
The work questions the acts of looking out and looking in, with a view that imagines a dissolved boundary between the viewing body and the landscape as subject.

Judges: Anthony Bond OAM, Curator, Art Gallery of NSW; Francis Parker, Curator QAGOMA, Brisbane; & Prof Marie Sierra, Head of SVPA, UTAS, Launceston

Artist background

Born Launceston 1983 where he currently lives and works. Exhibiting since 2002 including at Sawtooth ARI Launceston, Devonport Regional Gallery & Constance ARI Hobart 2014; Outward Project Launceston 2013. Winner of the Tasmanian Art Award 2014 & Glover Prize 2011. Finalist in RACT Portraiture Prize 2010. Work held in Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery; Monash University and State Library of Victoria collections.

Represented by Despard Gallery, Hobart