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Australian Art News: From press releases.
The Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes - 2009 winner.

2009 Archibald Prize winner
Guy Maestri
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
oil on linen – 200cm x 168cm


With his extraordinary voice and hauntingly beautiful album, Gurrumul, Indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has become something of a cultural phenomenon over the last year. Born blind, the gifted musician leads a traditional lifestyle on Elcho Island in Arnhem Land and sings in his native Yolngu language, but his fame is spreading the world. He recently won two coveted ARIA Awards among others and was named NT Australian of the Year for 2008.

Guy Maestri saw Gurrumul live on New Year’s Eve last year and says it was truly, an unforgettable experience. ‘Word had been going around all day and the rumours were true – people really were moved to tears.’ Believing that this ‘inspiring, amazing man’ would be an ideal subject for a portrait, Maestri managed to track Gurrumul down in Darwin with the help of a friend in the music industry only to discover that he was flying to New York the following weekend.

Offered a 40-minute window of opportunity to meet him early one Saturday morning at Sydney airport, Maestri seized it. ‘I was introduced to Gurrumul by Michael Hohnen, his bass player, record producer and close friend, who explained to him about the Archibald and why I wanted to paint him.’ Maestri did lots of sketches and studied Gurrumul’s face intently. ‘More importantly, I got a sense of his presence and this determined the nature of the portrait: quiet and strong. I usually work in a very liberal, gestural way but this time I built up the image quietly and slowly with many glazes in an attempt to capture the beautiful quality of his skin. I worked on it for over a month, mostly while listening to his music. I made sure to read the lyrics and understand the meaning of each song. The whole process became quite an emotional experience.’

Born in Mudgee, NSW in 1974, Maestri completed a Bachelor of Fine Art (Hons) in painting at the National Art School, Darlinghurst in 2003. He has had solo exhibitions at the Tim Olsen Gallery and was a finalist in the 2007 and 2008 Dobell Drawing Prize.

The Archibald, Wynne & Sulman Prizes
7 March - 24 May 2009
Art Gallery of New South Wales

M-F 3:30
Australia Art Museum Reaches Global Audiences, Increases Staff Efficiency With EMC Information Infrastructure

Consolidated Storage Yields Cost Savings; Increased Productivity, Creativity and Collaboration

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC), the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that the Museum of Contemporary Art, Australia’s only museum dedicated to modern art, has been working with EMC to digitize its collections as well as audio and video interviews with leading artists to make these and other information assets more easily and cost-efficiently accessible to arts communities, scholars, students and the general public in Australia and worldwide.

The MCA, which overlooks Sydney harbor, is consolidating all of its storage on an EMC Celerra® network-attached storage (NAS) system. MCA applications stored on Celerra include exhibit design, digital asset library, catalog design studio, Microsoft Exchange email, finance, fundraising and data backup.

Euan Upston, the MCA's Deputy Director, said, “Online access to our art has enabled a completely new and more efficient way of collaborating at the museum. Our museum curator used to plan exhibits with artists using paper and pencil. Now, the artist and curator pull works from our digital asset library and arrange them on ‘virtual walls.’ If two works displayed next to one another appear too close or visually clash, it’s simply a click of the button to move them to different locations.”

In a project known as “MCA Artist's Voice,” the MCA stores audio and video interviews with exhibiting artists on EMC Celerra unified storage. The full interviews are available in DVD format and interview clips can be accessed via MCA’s Web site. In 2007, a U.S. school won a Fulbright scholarship for a report on an Australian artist using material from Artist's Voice.

“In the last nine years, we've gone from 98,000 visitors annually to more than half a million,” said Upston. “To ensure our visitors continue to have fresh art experiences, we’ve expanded our collections and resources, which have increased the amount of digitized visual and audio material as well as administrative data for us to store and manage. EMC Celerra’s performance and expandability have enabled our information infrastructure to not only keep up with our expansion, but also facilitate new offerings, such as Web access to high-resolution images. We are now planning for real-time video conferences with artists worldwide and will record and store these interactions on Celerra for long-term access. This is all part of the MCA’s drive to develop and refurbish the MCA, a drive which has at its centre the creation of a ‘National Centre for Creative Learning.’ To achieve this, we need the performance, growth capacity and reliability of the NAS system.”

By consolidating storage that resided on individual servers onto Celerra, the MCA was able to reduce the number of servers from twelve to four.

Upston said, “As a non-profit, we have limited funds for administrative and support systems. With server consolidation, EMC Celerra allowed us to reduce both our server acquisition and operational costs. We’re also using less power, which is an additional savings and good for our carbon footprint.”

Prior to implementing Celerra, the MCA would back up data daily to tape. Not only did the tapes fail occasionally, but files were often lost due to server failures or misplaced DVDs, which staff would sometimes use to store digital images. Now, the MCA backs up its files and other information stored on Celerra to a separate virtual disk within the Celerra.

“Now that we have all of our data consolidated onto the Celerra, it is much easier and faster to find the information our staff needs on a daily basis,” said Upston. “When users accidentally delete files, we can restore and return them in 10 minutes. Before, it would take two days to find the tape with the appropriate file and restore it. Celerra also has been exceptionally reliable, so we no longer have to battle with unexpected downtime.”

Upston said, “Faster, easier and more reliable access to our information is a huge benefit to the museum’s productivity. There is much more flexibility and confidence to play around with ideas and collaborate, which are essential to delivering positive, creative outcomes. It has allowed faster delivery of education products such as ‘Sketch’, an exhibition activity sheet which is developed by our Education Department in association with the relevant artists that leads students through the exhibitions and help increase the understanding of the art they encounter. We’re also developing several new services to reach our virtual visitors. All of these initiatives rely on flexible and highly available access to our information. So working with EMC and NEXUS, our IT management company is a vital partnership in the delivery of these goals.”

EMC and Nexus Network worked together to deliver this solution to the MCA. Nexus Network, a boutique technology company based in Sydney, Australia, works with customers to create and maintain a connection between a business and its information.

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world's leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information. Information about EMC's products and services can be found at

Press Contacts

Patrick Cooley

T-F 10:30
Australian Art Market Blog Goes Live

Sydney, Australia based art market analyst and art critic Nicholas Forrest has announced the launch of a blog dedicated to the Australian art market.

Australian Art Market Blog Goes Live

Sydney, NSW, 17/3/2009 – Sydney, Australia based art market analyst and art critic Nicholas Forrest has announced the launch of a blog dedicated to the Australian art market


The blog will feature a no holds barred analysis of the Australian art market by Nicholas Forrest as well as advice for art investors, relevant news items and artist profiles.

The news, information and analysis provided on the site will cater to the needs of all participants in the Australian art market from the least experienced collectors and investors to art market professionals.  

“I am really excited about this project and am looking forward to tackling the important issues currently facing those involved in the Australian art market whether they be buyers, sellers or art market professionals” said Nicholas Forrest, founder of the Australian Art Market Blog

“The Australian Art Market is an exciting and dynamic market that is at a crucial stage of its development.  I am delighted to be able to provide what I believe is a much needed resource that provides Australian art collectors and investors with the information and knowledge that they need to be able to approach the art market with confidence.”

For additional information contact Nicholas Forrest or visit

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes on art and the art market for various magazines, newspapers and websites and has appeared on radio and television as an art market analyst.

- END -
Nicholas Forrest


Australian Art, Artists, and Galleries Blogs, and News.


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