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Adam Cullen’s Blake Prize entry – another art constroversy

Adam Cullen’s Blake Prize entry - another art constroversyCourtesy ABC 6 August 2008

Blake Prize judge quits

Australia’s top prize for religious art is again embroiled in controversy after its judges fell out over the inclusion of a work by controversial artist Adam Cullen.

Sydney academic Dr Christopher Allen has resigned from the Blake Art Prize judging panel in protest over Cullen’s work being included on the shortlist.

The canvas shows Jesus Christ on the cross with the inscription “only women bleed”.

The chairman of the Blake Art Prize, Reverend Rod Pattenden, says he and the other two judges – artist Lachlan Warner and religious scholar Kathleen McPhillips – respect Dr Allen’s decision.

“The Blake Prize, however, embraces diversity in its entries and it is important to us that we remain open to the many styles through which artists engage with the subject area,” Reverend Pattenden said in a statement.

“The other two judges believe that the work submitted [by Cullen] for the Blake Prize shows an engagement with the history and complex symbolism of the crucifixion and on the basis of their assessment we will include the work amongst the finalists.”

The winner of the $200,000 prize will be announced on September 4

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