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Brisbane artist wins richest Indigenous art prize

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 15 August 2003


The winner of Australia's most prestigious award for Indigenous art says he cannot believe he has been chosen.

Brisbane-based artist Richard Bell has been presented with the $40,000 award in Darwin.

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award is the richest Indigenous art award in Australia.

Judge Brian Kennedy, who is the director of the National Gallery of Australia, says Richard Bell's work was made to win.

More than 100 finalists were selected for the award from some 400 entries.

Mr Bell says his painting aims to tackle racism.

"I'm just the messenger, you know to be singled out as an individual, it is really gratifying, I'm really humbled by the whole experience," he said.

Mr Bell says his painting has written on it "Aboriginal Art is a White Thing".

It is based on a paper he wrote last year with the aim of countering racism.

"My journey is to challenge the symbolism within this country, because we get this generation after generation of racists and I am trying to put some circuit breakers in to stop that. My audience is young Anglo-Saxon."


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