Simon McGrath Named 2011 Finalist in Australia's Blake Prize

SYDNEY, September 16, 2011: Ogilvy & Mather Sydney creative, Simon McGrath, has been named a finalist in the 60th annual Blake Prize for his photograph exploring the theme of “Disconnection and Supermarketification.”

Blake Prize 2011The Blake Prize is Australia’s best-known and most controversial award for contemporary art exploring the themes of spirituality, religion and human justice. McGrath’s work, The Body and the Blood, was among the 72 finalists chosen from more than 1100 entries, and creates an interesting juxtaposition to his day job in advertising. “As an advertising art director, the idea of photographing products that don’t get advertised is kind of funny to me, but I feel very strongly that there is a creative, social and religious message amongst this,” McGrath said.

“There is a real disconnection for society in the foods we eat, like bread and wine, which are so over produced that they are nothing like they were 2000 years ago. Their nutrients have been stripped out, preservatives chucked in, and packaged up, so that every loaf or bottle looks the same and sits neatly on a supermarket shelf.

“I think you can see the same forces at work in our churches. How far have we come from the original ‘good food’ of God’s word and God’s good church? Are we selling out the real thing for a cheaper no-frills version?”

The Blake Prize is not a first for McGrath as an artist; he has also been a finalist in the highly competitive Brunswick Street Art Prize for 2011 and in the Mosman Art Prize in 2011, 2010 and 2008, amongst a flock of other awards, for his works.

Ogilvy Australia’s Executive Chairman, Tom Moult said: “Simon is a very talented, highly awarded artist, and some of his works have been quite controversial. “Simon brings an interesting perspective to our creative team, and we support his artistic endeavours,” he said.

Ogilvy & Mather Sydney is part of STW Group, Australia’s leading marketing content and communications services group.

For more information contact:
Rebecca Tilly
STW Group
Ph: +61 410 501 043

Contact: Rebecca Tilly
Date: September 16, 2011
Office: Sydney