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Griffith Art Museum wins National MAPDA book award

Art Museum honoured for book on QCA alumnus, Griffith University, June 2021

Griffith University Art Museum has won a national book prize for a publication showcasing the work of late Queensland College of Art (QCA) alumnus and acclaimed artist Gordon Bennett. 

Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings was named Museums Australia Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) Best Book for 2021 at the annual Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) national conference in Canberra this week. 

“I am thrilled that this publication has been recognised with a national award,” Director of Griffith University Art Museum (GUAM) Angela Goddard said. 

Griffith University Art Museum Director Angela Goddard.

The book was edited by Ms Goddard and art historian Tim Riley Walsh. It is the first publication to showcase the writing practice of the late Gordon Bennett, providing an insight into one of Australia’s most important contemporary artists. 

Bringing together nearly 40 published and unpublished essays, artist’s statements, letters, and interviews from across Bennett’s thirty-year careerMs Goddard said it recognised the extraordinary legacy of the First Nations artist 

“Gordon Bennett remains an incredibly influential major figure in contemporary Australian art, but not everyone knows how important writing was to his creative and intellectual process,” she said. 

“This publication gives us rich insights into Bennett’s life and art, through formal correspondence, essays and interviews, and we are also given glimpses into his deeply personal notebooks, correspondence, sketches, and preparatory compositions. 

We are proud of the way that this project amplifies Bennett’s own voice.” 

The award also recognises the work of QCA alumnus Michael Phillips, who designed the publication.  

“It was a labour of love over several years and came to fruition during the craziness of 2020 and COVID lockdowns,” Ms Goddard said 

Griffith University Art Museum also received a Highly Commended in the Exhibition Catalogue (Small) category for Elizabeth Newman: Is that a ‘No’?

Gordon Bennett: Selected Writings is available on the GUAM website.