Winnipeg artist Divya Mehra wins $100K Sobey prize for visual art

OTTAWA — Visual artist Divya Mehra has won the $100,000 Sobey Art Award.

The Winnipeg-based Mehra was named winner of the prestigious prize at a gala at the National Gallery of Canada.

Award jury chair Jonathan Shaughnessy describes Mehra’s work as “resoundingly timely and sophisticated in addressing systems of cultural representation, production and authority.”

She’s known for incorporating found artifacts and ready-made objects into art formats that include photo, video, film, sculpture, print, drawing, performance, installation and advertising.

A $25,000 prize went to each of four shortlisted artists — Krystle Silverfox, Azza El Siddique, Stanley Février and Tyshan Wright.

Artworks from all five artists are on view at the National Gallery of Canada until March 12, 2023.

Award organizers said Mehra’s works serve as “reminders of the difficult realities of displacement, loss, neutrality and oppression.”

“Her approach is defined by its sharp wit, disarmingly playful allure, and attentiveness to language and esthetics,” Shaughnessy said Wednesday in a statement emailed before the evening event.

“Her most recent explorations turn towards issues of repatriation, ownership, and modes of cultural consumption that fundamentally implicate both institutions and their publics.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2022.

The Canadian Press