Koonibba Roosters, Thevenard, South Australia

Photo by Grant Hobson. 2012
Photo by Grant Hobson. 2012

Melbourne artist Grant Hobson has been short-listed for the $100,000 2016 Basil Sellers Art Prize, a prestigious award focusing on sport and its place in Australian life.

Grant’s artwork will concentrate on the Koonibba Football Club, the oldest Aboriginal football club in Australia. The Roosters were formed in 1906 and have just over 30 premierships.

They play in the four-team Far Western League in South Australia. Their home-ground is the Far West Aboriginal Sporting complex, in Thevenard, near Ceduna.

The club has strong connections to AFL players such as Eddie Betts, Shaun and Peter Burgoyne, Alwyn and Aaron Davey (their father Gunny Davey played for the Roosters) and Gavin Wanganeen.

Grant Hobson took the photo of the Koonibba scoreboard while working on a cultural history project in 2012. The photo shows Grant’s colleague Mathew Morrison interviewing former player (and unofficial club historian) Phillip Miller.

Grant’s artwork for the Basil Sellers prize may include reference to old scoreboard numbers in the way he chooses to display his final work. (The numbers would not be from the Koonibba scoreboard, but from the garages and backyards of scoreboard enthusiasts.)

The 2016 Basil Sellers Art Prize and Exhibition will open at the Ian Potter Museum of Art (University of Melbourne) in July.

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