Zanny Begg has been announced as the winner of the Established Artist Residency and Solo Exhibition at Casula Powerhouse as part of the prizes for the 66th Blake Prize for her video work Stories of Kannagi. Stories of Kannagi was created in collaboration with members of the Tamil community in Western Sydney. The video features Sri Lankan Tamil writers Niromi de Soyza, Shankari Chandaran and Srisha Sritharan interpreting and representing the idea of love in the ancient epic relating it to current times. All three writers are based in Australia and use language as a form of resistance.

Niromi de Soyza is the author of Tamil Tigress, a memoir of her experiences as a child soldier in the Sri Lankan civil war; Shankari Chandran is the author of Song of the Sun God a three generation saga across Sri Lanka and Australia; and Srisha Sritharan is a NSW Slam Poet Champion. Stories of Kannagi explores the impact of colonisation and civil war has had on Tamil communities living outside of Sri Lanka by looking at interrelated issues of love, language and story telling.

See this work See this work in person when the Blake Prize exhibition opens on Saturday 13th of February. The Blake Prize is one of Australia’s longest-standing and most prestigious prizes which encourages conversation about religion and spirituality through the arts. Since 1951, The Blake Prize has engaged artists, nationally and internationally, with ideas of spirituality and religion. The prize takes its name from William Blake, the world-famous 18th Century artist, and poet who threaded the religious and artistic throughout his practice. Building on this history, The 66th Blake Prize continues to encourage contemporary artists of varied styles and religious and spiritual allegiances to create significant works of art, which engage in conversations and negotiations concerning spirituality, religion and/or belief.

The winner of the 66th Blake Prize is Leyla Stevens for her work  Kidung/Lament.

See media coverage about Stories of Kannagi in India Link here.