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The Substation Contemporary Art Prize 2013 old

Exhibition dates 18 October - 17 November 2013

2013 Judges:
Geraldine Barlow, Chief Curator, MUMA
Rachel Kent, Senior Curator, MCA

Will Foster (The Substation)

Major Award winner of ($10,000 sponsored by Metro)

The Westie Award 

The Substation Exhibition Award

Peoples Choice


2013 Prize Winners:

Major Award winner of ($10,000 sponsored by Metro)


Bridgeman is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Brisbane and Sydney, Australia, belonging to the Yuri clan of Chimbu province, Papua New Guinea.

In the Project,2012 
Production still of Video Work

Photography by Tanya Harnett. Image courtesy Gallerysmith.

In 2011, Eric Bridgeman was Artist in Residence at Lethbridge University in Alberta Canada. During his residency, he documented his personal progress in the studio in the form of ritualistic video diary entries; an edited version of which forms the basis of this work. Bridgeman’s acute sense of isolation during the onset of winter at the foot of the Rocky Mountains was amplified by the impassive nature of the locals who regarded the interloper with guarded cordiality and called him “Blacky”. Bridgeman responded by gathering a collection of objects painted in lurid colours, then stepping into character as his muse, his toy golliwog, stating “I gave in to being the best outsider that I could become”. The resultant work is an explosion of colour, movement and creative expression, a powerful representation of an artist In the Project.

The Westie Award:

Based in Sunshine West Melbourne

My Dad the People Smuggler, 2013

HD video courtesy of the artist

In 1981 my father sailed his boat into the bay of Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. From there he, my mother and brother were transferred to Pulau Bidong where they lived for several months before being accepted into Australia.

This video portrait of my father combines his experiences with that of my own. It presents imagery captured by journeying to Pulau Bidong in an attempt to reconcile the inherited memory of my father and the places in which they occurred. It is his story as a people smuggler and refugee, and mine as a second generation Vietnamese Australian trying to define my own identity.

By hijacking the term 'people smuggler', often used to describe the villainous other, and attributing it a personal and familial dimension I want to offer the viewer a counter point to the one-dimensional image of the people smuggler portrayed in the media and within contemporary debates.

The Substation Exhibition Award:

Based in Footscray West Melbourne

Eternal situation, 2013

high definition video, courtesy of artist

Eternal situation explores human behaviour within the formal setting of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. A sound track overlay has been used to create a humorous subtext whereby the artworks within the museum appear to ‘feel’ things and directly appeal to the viewer through dramatic song lyrics. Likewise the visitors captured in this work become the unwitting subjects of an impassioned scene.Eternal Situation explores the paradoxical situation of the museum as a place of ‘eternal’ time and pragmatic limitations, intimate possibilities and inevitable distance.

For press and information contact: Will Foster, Visual Arts Program Manager •This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it• (03) 9391 1110

Exhibition tour of The Substation Contemporary Art Prize

Join one of the 2013 SCAP judges and Will Foster (Curator, The Substation) in conversation, offering new insights into a selection of artworks from The Substation Contemporary Art Prize.

Thursday 31st October

Geraldine Barlow (Senior Curator, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne) 6:30pm-7:30pm


Background information:

A National $10,000 non-acquisitive award for contemporary visual art presented in Melbourne’s inner west.

Formerly known as the Williamstown Festival Art Prize, The Substation Contemporary Art Prize is open to all mediums across the visual arts including, painting, drawing, photography, print, sculpture, installation and video.