Winnipeg-based multidisciplinary artist Divya Mehra has been named the winner of Canada’s best artwork prize, the Sobey Artwork Award, introduced every year via the Nationwide Gallery of Canada. The inside track used to be introduced November 16 at a rite on the establishment, the place Mehra’s paintings is on view via March 12, 2023, in a unique exhibition along that of her fellow shortlisted nominees for the prize. Mehra, who’s representing Canada’s Prairies and North area, will obtain C$100,000 ($75,000). Runners-up Tyshan Wright (representing the Atlantic area), Stanley Février (Quebec), Azza El Siddique (Ontario) and Krystle Silverfox (West Coast and Yukon area), will each and every obtain more or less $18,700, whilst twenty longlisted artists might be awarded $7,500 apiece.
“The jury discovered Divya Mehra’s paintings resoundingly well timed and complex in addressing methods of cultural illustration, manufacturing and authority,” stated chair Jonathan Shaughnessy. “Untethered to any explicit medium, the affect of Mehra’s observe extends past established constructs of artwork. Her means is outlined via its sharp wit, disarmingly playful attract, and attentiveness to language and aesthetics. Her most up-to-date explorations flip in opposition to problems with repatriation, possession and modes of cultural intake that basically implicate each establishments and their publics.”
Mehra—whose observe encompasses media together with sculpture, printmaking, drawing, artist’s books, set up, promoting, efficiency, and video and picture—had in the past been shortlisted for the prize in 2017, when it used to be reserved just for artists beneath 40 (the age restriction has since been got rid of). Her paintings is ceaselessly funny and investigates diasporic reviews—an hobby fostered partially via her oldsters’ emigration from India to Canada—in addition to problems with racism, illustration, range, identification, and colonialism. Exemplary of her observe is a 2019 piece she contributed to the MacKenzie Artwork Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan. For the duration of making ready for an exhibition there, she found out a looted stone carving of the feminine goddess Annapurna displayed on the gallery, the place it used to be incorrectly known as Vishnu. Due to Mehra’s efforts, the thing used to be repatriated to India and its position on the gallery occupied via a bag of sand, in a nod to the Indiana Jones movies.