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Ben Ward at work. Photo courtesy Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre. With the first-ever win by an Aboriginal artist – 65-year-old Ben Ward from WA - of the $10,000 John Fries Award last year, the organisers are keen to receive even more entries from Indigenous Australian and New Zealand artists for the 2016 award, which has just opened for entries. Artists need to submit five images of recent work to enter the competition, which is run annually by artists’ rights organisation, the Copyright

Remote West Australian artist Ben Ward is the first Aboriginal artist, and the first Western Australian, to take out the $10,000 Copyright Agency | Viscopy John Fries Award for emerging artists for his painting Our Country. Despite picking up a paintbrush just four years ago, 65-year-old Ward has developed a distinctive painting style: using brightly coloured tessellating triangles to depict his local Miriwoong country. He paints almost daily at the Waringarri Aboriginal Arts Centre in Kununurra. At 2.4 metres wide, Our Country is the largest in a

Emerging Aboriginal artist and past John Fries Award finalist, Serena Bonson, successfully opened her first solo show at ALASKA Projects last month, selling two pieces to the Australian Government’s Artbank collection. Wangarra is a collection of hand-carved figures that capture the story of the Wangarra spirit as told by her uncle Jimmy Angunguna, who also taught her the craft. Serena says her first solo exhibition was even more important as her uncle is in respite and she wants to continue sharing his story. Serena

Organisers of the 6th annual John Fries Award are reaching out to emerging Indigenous artists across Australia and New Zealand to enter a portfolio of their contemporary work for an opportunity to build their experience as an early-career artist. This year, the entry calls for 5-10 images that demonstrate the artist’s developing practice in their chosen discipline over the past three years. The selected finalists will be encouraged to work with the curator to select, modify or develop a work for