Waverley Art Prize Judges

Marisa Purcell 

Marisa Purcell is an abstract non-figurative painter. The subject of Marisa Purcell’s artwork cannot be found in her paintings but comes about through the experience of them. Their meaning resides in the illusory spaces created between the swathes and splashes of brilliant saturated colour, and the bold and ghostly forms that spill out from her canvases to permeate the viewer.

Purcell describes these illusory voids as liminal spaces, and thinks of them as active zones which cross time and space, and in which artist and viewer meet and interact. Long interested in the processes of art’s reception, she draws inspiration from the example of artists across history – from Fra Angelico to Rothko – who similarly exploited the mystical power of painting to embody spiritual sensation.

Purcell works instinctively and experimentally to the same end, constantly paring her work back to essential motivations.  In their final iterations, her ephemeral and aesthetically sophisticated compositions gesture towards an experience of the profound that is available to us all. Marisa Purcell is represented by Olsen Irwin Gallery, Sydney and Edwina Chorlette Gallery, Brisbane.


Adam Simms 

Adam Sims has over twenty years’ professional experience as a curator & gallery manager, working with a number of leading contemporary art galleries as well as working within the secondary art market. Recognised for his knowledge of, and passion for, contemporary art, Adam has worked with Watters Gallery, Sherman Galleries, Kaliman Gallery and Savill Galleries. He was involved with the development of Art Month Sydney and established New Albion Gallery in conjunction with leading Australian auction house Deutscher and Hackett. Adam is currently Curatorial Director of Liverpool Street Gallery and recently launched LS2 Project Space that was set up to mentor and promote new and overlooked talent. Adam holds a degree in Philosophy and First Class Honours in Art History and Theory from the University of Sydney.