Congratulations to Noula Diamantopoulos on being selected as a finalist in the 2018 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize.
The theme of this year’s prize is ‘Resistance’ and so it is very fitting that Noula was selected for her recent neon artwork ‘Loveshouldnthurt’ which responds to issues around domestic violence.
Initial creative stirrings and the ideas behind this work, were inspired by a recently completed public art commission, in which Noula was asked to create an enormous 60 sqm mosaic installation. Pieced together from over 20,000 jar lids, the commissioned portrait features the face of Felicity Cook, a survivor of domestic violence. Towering above the cityscape at 182 George Street in Sydney, the work forms part of the Love Shouldn’t Hurt campaign, drawing attention to domestic violence.
Continuing the dialogue launched with this public art project, Noula created her neon work loveshouldnthurt. The soft glowing pink of the looping neon tubing evokes the colour of love. The words run together. There is no space for debate or questioning when it comes to this topic….
Initially, when working with the phrase ‘love shouldn’t hurt’, Noula found it difficult and challenging to speak in the negative in respect to the concept of love. Typically when ruminating on the nature of love and what it means we focus on what love is. Love is unconditional, love is compassionate, love is inclusive. All of these qualities combined add up to one simple fact – love shouldn’t hurt.
It is a forceful statement. Both in relation to domestic violence and in the broader context of all relationships. For when we do hurt each other, whether by our words or our deeds, we are often too quick to accept this as being inevitable. We refer to the ‘ups and downs’ of love. We accept the idea that love is complex and not always easy. There is a school of thought which sees pain as being inextricably linked to love and unavoidable. For Noula, this is inherently wrong. Love shouldn’t hurt. Only when the hurt is unintentional can it be accepted. The accident is the exception.
The Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize is an annual prize that was launched in 2017 to advance art and opportunities for emerging and established female artists in Australia. There are two prize categories, including a $35,000 prize — the richest professional art prize for women in Australia. Artwork judging will be overseen by Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize Patron and acclaimed artist, Jennifer Turpin, and announced at the exhibition opening on 15 June, 2018.