Our Mob Art Prize – 2019 Winner

2019 Emerging Artist prize winner announced

Ngarrindjeri, Nurungga, Ngadjuri woman Sonya Rankine was announced the winner of the $5,000 Don Dunstan Foundation Our Mob Emerging Artist Prize during the 2019 OUR MOB opening at Adelaide Festival Centre this evening.

The prize win will allow the 49 year old Moonta Bay resident to invest in her business, Lakun Mara (meaning Weaving Hand), which focuses on the revival and maintenance of traditional Ngarrindjeri weaving techniques and cultural practice.

Sonya impressed the judges with her sculptures, titled ‘Lakun Mara 13 – Pinyali Pempandawi (Emu Basket)’ and ‘Lakun Mara 14 – Partar Pempandawi (Rock Basket)’ made from jacaranda stalks, beach stone, waxed linen thread, palm inflorescence, and emu feathers.

Sonya Rankine: “I’ve been weaving for 25 years. I first learnt from Aunty Ellen Trevorrow, the traditional Ngarrindjeri technique using reeds from the Coorong. Since then I have continued to have a strong cultural interest and passion for weaving. This was strengthened by attending the 2019 National Basketry Gathering delivering a workshop and learning many more styles to incorporate.

“My weaving is about reviving and maintaining culture and the tradition of Ngarrindjeri weaving through creating contemporary Aboriginal art.”
Two other prizes were awarded on the night: the Country Arts SA Professional Development Initiative Award, won by 42 year old Rowena Williams of Coober Pedy; and the Ku Arts OUR YOUNG MOB Award, won by 18 year old Leshaye Swan of Adelaide.

The 2019 OUR MOB program features three free exhibitions: OUR MOB, works by South Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists; OUR YOUNG MOB, works by Aboriginal artists 18 years and under and the Don Dunstan Foundation Prize Showcase, produced by last year’s Emerging Artist Award recipient Tony Wilson.

Douglas Gautier AM, Adelaide Festival Centre CEO & Artistic Director: “For fourteen years, OUR MOB has supported art practices of numerous First Nations artists throughout South Australia.

“What began as a survey of visual art is now one of our most important annual programs, bringing artists, industry partners, and arts organisations from all over the state together in a celebration of art and community.

“We congratulate this year’s winners and look forward to celebrating their success for years to come.”

Adelaide Festival Centre gratefully acknowledges ongoing partnerships with Ku Arts and Culture Aboriginal Corporation and SICAD; Country Arts SA; The Don Dunstan Foundation; TARNANTHI: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art; and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture centre managers and coordinators across South Australia.

Prize winning artworks can be seen here.