Portrait of Ruby wins new health-focused art prize

Adelaide artist Jasmine Crisp has won the $40,000 main award in the inaugural Centre for Creative Health Art Prize with a portrait of fellow artist Ruby Allegra.

Oct 01, 2021, updated Oct 01, 2021
Centre for Creative Health Art Prize winner Jasmine Crisp with her winning portrait ‘They had to share (a portrait of Ruby)’. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

Centre for Creative Health Art Prize winner Jasmine Crisp with her winning portrait ‘They had to share (a portrait of Ruby)’. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

More than 400 entries were received from artists across South Australia for the art prize, which invited entrants to respond to the theme of Healing as it relates to human physical and mental health and wellbeing.

Crisp’s oil painting of Allegra, a self-described disabled, genderfluid, queer artist, was selected from among 40 finalists by a judging panel comprising artist and former arts minister Diana Laidlaw, director of Hill-Smith Art Advisory Margo Hill-Smith, and Dentons Fisher Jeffries partner Nicholas Linke.

Premier Steven Marshall with Jasmine Crisp and Ruby Allegra. Photo: Andrew Beveridge

In a statement, the judges said that the painting, They had to share (a portrait of Ruby), strongly embraced the theme and “highlights Jasmine’s sensitive connection and portrayal of her subject”.

“She honours and captures Ruby’s unique perspective of her lived experiences, often confronting, and frequently lacking in privacy.”

Crisp, who graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Art Honours from Adelaide Central School of Art in 2017, works mainly in painting and drawing and has previously been a finalist in the SALA awards, the Emma Hack Art Prize and Kennedy Art Prize, as well as winning the YouthScape Art Prize.

A total of $50,000 in prize money was awarded in the Centre for Creative Health Art Prize, with the $5000 Emerging Artist Prize going to multi-disciplinary artist Ida Sophia for her work Regret, an installation that includes hundreds of written expressions of regret contributed by members of the public. Sophia presented a 28-day durational performance of Regret in June at Floating Goose Studios.

Tina McKenzie won the $5000 Veteran and Emergency First Responder Prize for her ceramics installation Replacement mother figures.

The Centre for Creative Health, a charity formed by the Hospital Research Foundation Group, provides arts programs and creative initiatives for patients, visitors and staff in hospitals across the Central Adelaide Local Health Network. It launched the inaugural art prize in June, with executive director Fiona Smithson saying it came at a time “when challenges of both physical and mental health are paramount in our society”.

The Centre for Creative Health Finalist Exhibition is showing at Light Square Gallery, Adelaide College of the Arts, until October 22, with the public invited to vote for their favourite work for the People’s Choice Prize.

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