22 January 2010

Charcoal drawing wins Siemens-RMIT Art awards

Becc Orszag received the Siemens-RMIT Acquisition prize for her charcoal drawing, cannot contain this, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009

Becc Orszag received the Siemens-RMIT Acquisition prize for her charcoal drawing, cannot contain this, 2009. Photo credit: Mark Ashkanasy, RMIT Gallery 2009.

RMIT University student and Blackburn North resident Becc Orszag has won two prestigious prizes at the Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards.

The Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art – Drawing) student won a $2,000 Undergraduate Scholarship to spend on travel for her artwork, cannot contain this.

Ms Orszag was also awarded the $1,000 Siemens-RMIT Acquisition prize, which means her work will now enter the Siemens corporate collection.

cannot contain this is large charcoal drawing that is concerned with losing unique identity within a collected identity,” she said.

“I have portrayed a class of children all clothed in the same uniform. It is just a very basic uniform, and I have concentrated on the individual detail of their faces to try and show the individual breaking free from a collective ideal.

“I’m searching for the moment at which the individual surrenders their unique identity for that of a collective, stemming from a concern of the troubling absence of individual thought within a contemporary society.”

Ms Orszag said cannot contain this uses layering of charcoal and erasure as a means of creating a malevolent air in her work.

“I started with an old 1918 Austrian school photograph and stripped it back to make it my own,” she said.

“I used violently erased planes to expose the intense voids of darkness that surround the subjects, which find themselves suspended in a dreamlike reality.”

Ms Orszag said winning the award reaffirmed that she was on the right track with her art work. She would use the prize money towards a trip to the United Kingdom to look at art schools for possible post-graduate study.

Now in their ninth year, the Siemens-RMIT Fine Art Scholarship Awards help RMIT Fine Art students further their careers by assisting their research and production costs. The awards attracted more than 200 entries in 2010, with 43 shortlisted artists exhibiting their work at RMIT Gallery. The exhibition ends on 23 January.

Chairman and Managing Director of Siemens Australia and New Zealand, Albert Goller, said: “Education, technology and above all, innovations are the lifeblood at Siemens and we foster a creative environment where ideas can develop and grow. We are proud to support the development of talent each year demonstrating innovative thinking through arts and creativity.”

For high-quality images of the artist and winning work, further information and general media enquiries: RMIT Gallery Media Coordinator, Evelyn Tsitas, (03) 9925 1716, 0418 139 015, or evelyn.tsitas@rmit.edu.au.