We are delighted to announce M. Sunflower as the winner of the George’s River Council Art Competition 2022. Her work ‘Rainbow Wildflowers’ has been selected for use in the design of Georges River Council’s Disability Inclusion and Action Plan.
“If you look into the history of abstraction, it always seems to rise when the world is in turmoil,” says M. Sunflower. “People turning away from the intense struggles of the world for a quiet moment, to try and cope within their own human body so they can continue to be part of the fight to leave the world a better place than we found it. This piece is a part of that practice for me. Using colour and abstract mark making, I transmute the present moment of pain into a pathway towards future regeneration.”
About the Artist
M. Sunflower is a culturally diverse Australian artist with disability. A descendant of the Aboriginal Warmuli people of the Darug Nation, Lebanese post-war migrants, Chinese goldrush miners and UK convicts, M. Sunflower embodies the diverse ancestral legacy of Australia’s painful and complex colonial past.
She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Photomedia) from Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, and in 2016 was an inaugural recipient in the Emerge Program, an engagement project between the Art Gallery of NSW and Front Up, a Western Sydney based arts and culture program and hub.
She is currently Co-Director at Firstdraft on the 2021-22 Board of Directors, and 2021 projects included: a solo photographic exhibition in June 2021 as part of Artspace Ideas Platform; and exhibition works for Firstdraft Auction, Fairfield Museum and Gallery, Off The Wall Gallery, and Accessible Arts. She was also a finalist in the Bluethumb Art Prize 2021.
Her interdisciplinary practice encompasses photography, painting, sculpture, video and installation, which she deploys to bring visibility to issues and experiences related to identity, trauma and disability.
A strong believer in art as activism, she is founder and curating contributor of Off The Wall Gallery, Sydney, an outdoor and online exhibiting initiative centred on creating professional development opportunities for her collective of artists with disabilities. She is a strong advocate for human rights and works actively to create opportunities and support for marginalised peoples of all identities.
Image description: Rainbow Wildflowers by M. Sunflower. Reds, yellows, blues, greens and pinks splash all over the scene. There are different levels of marks, from tiny dots and marks at the front, midsized paintbrush marks in the middle, and larger patches of colour in the background.