On Friday, August 6, in Australia, Pitjantjatjara artist Timo Hogan was awarded the illustrious 2021 Telstra Art Award, one of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards (NATSIAA), the longest running and most prestigious Indigenous arts prize in the country. The $50,000 cash prize was awarded over a Zoom ceremony to Hogan for his painting Lake Baker.
In a statement on their decision, the judges said that Hogan is “a remarkably confident artist with talent that exceeds his age and experience. In a work of this scale, there is nowhere for an artist to hide: Timo’s restrained use of paint, texture and form not only demonstrates exceptional artistic instinct, but also his intimate connection to Country. Lake Baker is a mediative, connected and assured master work by one of Australia’s most exciting up and coming artists.”
Hogan is from the remote community of Tjuntjuntjara in Western Australia and creates work with the Spinifex Arts Project. On his award the artist said to the online attendees, “I am very happy to have won this award. It makes me feel strong inside.” Reported by Kelly Burke for The Guardian, Hogan plans on using the prize money to buy a four wheel drive to go kangaroo hunting and visit his family and friends who live outside the Tjuntjuntjara community.