Merrick Belyea is an established Australian artist whose work focuses on a curiously human appetite for destruction. Environmental concerns are central to recent paintings that refer to a potential for devastation and offer a portent to future mechanical scarification of the landscape. Paring back the veneer of previously prepared paint layers revealing the detritus of process and the fragility of surface.

Merrick graduated from Claremont School of Art in 1989. Holding his first solo exhibition in 1994 he has since maintained a regular exhibition program including the Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore art fairs. In 2001 Merrick was invited to exhibit at the Australian Embassy in the Philippines. He was included in the Australian Art Collector ‘Australia’s Most Collectable Artists’ list in 2004 and 2006.

Merrick has contributed to a number of boards and committees in the not-for-profit arts sector, most recently chair and founding member of the Art Collective WA.

Merrick’s work is held by a number of public and private collections including: Artbank; Janet Holmes á Court Collection; Wesfarmers; Bankwest; St John of God Health Care; Royal Perth Hospital; The University of Western Australia; Edith Cowan University; City of Perth; City of Fremantle.

Merrick Belyea is represented by Art Collective WA, Perth.

The prestigious John Stringer Prize – created in 2015 in honour of acclaimed curator, the late John Stringer (1937–2007) – commissions six contemporary Western Australian artists to create new work from which the winning artist will be determined by a secret ballot conducted by The Collectors Club members.

The exhibition features new work created specifically for the Prize by Merrick Belyea, Theo Costantino, Daniel Kristjansson, Clare McFarlane, Ross Potter and Lea Taylor, in a range of media including drawing, painting, photography, installation and textiles.

The John Stringer Prize is a non-acquisitive, annual award aimed at recognising and supporting outstanding Western Australian visual art practice and is generously supported by The Collectors Club and the Kerry Stokes Collection. The Prize was established in memory of John Stringer, renowned Curator of the Kerry Stokes Collection and advisor to The Collectors Club, who passed away in 2007. It honours John’s life and the legacy of his influence on and contribution to local visual arts and culture. In keeping with John’s passionate devotion to the arts, and his wish to see greater patronage of local talent, the Prize is intended to encourage and support Western Australian artists.

The Prize, which was conceived and facilitated by The Collectors Club, connects locally based artists with collectors, thus contributing to the vibrancy and economic viability of the Western Australian art scene.

The John Stringer Prize 2021 is open 19 November – 15 December 2021.

Click here for more information.

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