Albert Camus, novelist and Nobel Prize laureate, once said: ‘After many years, during which I saw many things, what I know most surely about morality and the duty of man I owe to sport’.
Not everyone would agree that sport is the key to understanding human experience. But it’s certainly true that Australians connect sport with anything from community life and personal achievement through to historical and political controversies.
Sport has been a recurring theme in Australian art. For artists today, sport touches upon anything from everyday life through to globalisation, from the concrete experience of a game through to abstract notions like cheating and fair play. Sport is about winners and losers, individuals and teams, rules and penalties, equipment and architecture, fans and souvenirs, triumphs and scandals.
The Basil Sellers Art Prize defines sport in the broadest possible sense. In 2014, an acquisitive prize of $100,000 will be awarded to a single, outstanding artwork, displayed in an exhibition of shortlisted finalists at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne.
This prize is supported by Basil Sellers in order to encourage contemporary artists to develop their practice, to engage with the many themes within sport past and present, and to contribute to critical reflection on all forms of sport and sporting culture in Australia.