Melbourne-based artist Diena Georgetti
has been awarded the 2021 Geelong
contemporary art prize for her painting
The selection panel included eminent
art historians and curators, Jenepher
Duncan and Grazia Gunn and Geelong
Gallery Director & CEO, Jason Smith,
who were drawn to AMPERSAND for its
conceptual poise and eloquent formal
The painting extends Diena Georgetti’s
idiosyncratic approach to picture-making
as she assembles and juxtaposes
abstract images and references to
art historical precedents, along with
modernist aesthetics, including design
and fashion. These reference points
are drawn from books, archives and the
internet, and function as Georgetti’s
eclectic image-bank, but her sources
remain elusive. It is a creative process of
sampling that reworks real and archival
fragments in the spirit of historical
collage while exploring the literal and
metaphorical ways in which images are
framed for the viewer.
AMPERSAND is an enigmatic and
compelling work, melding formal
painterly references to both analytical
and synthetic Cubism, with a fugitive
figuration that recalls the Classical nude
pose and the enfolding pathos of Henry
Moore’s sculpture and drawing. The
central configuration of this painting
reflects the inward twist and turn of its
title AMPERSAND, that archaic sign for
notating the endless possibilities of
the word ‘and’ to a thought or narrative.
Above all, the judges agreed that a
relevant contemporary humanism
pervades AMPERSAND, opening-up this
precisely constructed but poetic image
to many readings and interpretations.

The judges also wish to acknowledge
the contemporary relevance and
excellent quality of the works of
the twenty-eight finalists who were
selected from an Australia-wide field of
over 600 entries, and who are among
the country’s finest established and
emerging artists.
The announcement of the the Prize
will be made by Geelong Gallery on
Monday 31 May at 5.00pm. Follow
@GeelongGallery on Facebook,
Instagram or Twitter for more.
Geelong Gallery wishes to thank the
Dimmick Charitable Trust for generously
sponsoring this signature event.
The Prize is acquisitive and assists
the ongoing growth of the Gallery’s
collection, while also promoting
Australian painting and contemporary
Due to Government and health authority
advice, Geelong Gallery is temporarily
closed until at least Friday 4 June. The
Gallery will re-open when government
health authorities deem it reasonable
to do so, with the 2021 Geelong
contemporary art prize on display until
Sunday 22 August.
About the artist
Diena Georgetti was born in Alice
Springs and currently lives in Melbourne.