The Hero’s Journey Art Prize, 3 to 15 November

What a year 2020 has been for communities around the globe. Our personal and collective strengths and resilience have been put to the test across a range of urgent issues from environmental catastrophe, devastating loss of life, confusion and uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, societal tensions and in particular the Black Lives Matter campaign, and of course political and leadership issues. This isn’t a fleeting moment in time that will pass and be forgotten. It will have a lasting impact on all our lives, and is the beginning of a dense new chapter in our lived history, that we hope can bring meaningful change.

With a creative push to document the widespread experiences of these so called unprecedented times, aMBUSH Gallery in partnership with Kambri at the Australian National University in Canberra presents ‘The Hero’s Journey Art Prize’ and exhibition from 3 to 15 November. The show features over 100 posters selected from aMBUSH Gallery’s callout to Australia-based artists, which invited them to create posters responding to The Hero’s Journey, a literary theme guided by the narrative of adventure, crisis and triumph.

Blake Edwards. 2020. ‘The Hero’s Journey Art Prize’ exhibition. Courtesy the artist and aMBUSH Gallery Kambri, Australian Capital Territory

Artists working at all levels of artistic ability, from emerging to established and all those in between, tell their stories and visually articulate their observations of life during the current crisis under a radiant arc of colour, humour and emotion. The prize winning work titled The Road of Hope by Stella Evans is also on show.

Twenty-one year old Evans is from the Boorowa farming community in regional New South Wales and is a Visual Arts and Graphic Design student at the University of Wollongong. The Road of Hope created by Evans with Adobe Illustrator inspired by a photograph of her ‘father on the land’ tells a deeply personal story of the struggles and resilience of farmers living through the dire consequences of drought, and seeks to bring community awareness to our often silent and unsung heroes, the farmers.

“The recent drought was the one of the most intense and heart-breaking experiences for my family, our community and so many others living in regional Australia. It was described as ‘the worst drought in living history’. That is an incredibly hard statement to hear and one that does not sit lightly. There were days we thought we would never get through. We had no idea when it was going to end. We could not see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Evans shares in her artist statement.

Stella Evans, The Road of Hope, 2020. Winner ‘The Hero’s Journey Art Prize 2020’. Courtesy the artist and ambush Gallery Kambri, Australian Capital Territory

“I believe there is a lack of knowledge and understanding in metropolitan areas about life in the country. I have witnessed it first-hand. There needs to be more education about what farmers do for our country. People walk into the supermarket and buy chicken, ham, carrots, apples, porridge, milk, butter, bread, rice, nuts… (the list goes on) Whilst wearing cotton pants and a woollen jumper. All of which has been so easily available to them because of the hard work of our farmers,” she adds.

All posters exhibited in ‘The Hero’s Journey Art Prize’ exhibition are for sale with 100% of the profits going directly to the artists. If you would like to receive the exhibition catalogue, or purchase any of the works email [email protected]. Don’t miss your chance to own a piece of art made during this remarkable time in our lives. Prices start at $99.

aMBUSH Gallery Kambri will officially open the exhibition on Thursday, 5 November from 6-9pm. The show will be presented across three 60-minute viewings (with Covid-safe cleaning between sessions). Audiences can visit the gallery Monday-Friday from from 10am-6pm and weekends and 12pm-5pm. Admission is free. Pre-registration is essential and is in keeping with Covid-19 regulations. Please visit Eventbrite to register.