Perth artist turns dream into winning entry
Perth-based artist Behzad Alipour has been announced as the overall winner of Palliative Care Australia’s Dying to Talk Art Competition at a special exhibition at the 2019 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference (19OPCC).
His work, titled “In the blink of an eye” was exhibited at 19OPCC along with 30 other entries , and was inspired by a dream he had about death.
“This painting was triggered by a dream I had where I died. I woke in a cold sweat and thought “wow this whole thing was for nothing.” I started questioning my beliefs , ideology, religion and this painting helped me address all my unresolved feelings about death.”
“Life is short, and it is going to end somewhere so how we live now is what matters.”
“My mother’s first reaction when she saw this painting was to try and book me a psychologist!”
“In a way it is a dark painting, but on the other hand there is dark and light together. It represents lots of ideas about death, but it also represents life.
Behzad says that he has been painting and drawing “forever… for as long as I can remember.”
He studied techniques of classical realism at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy and Sweden during the summers of 2013 and 2016. He is currently admitted in Master of Applied Design and Art at Curtin University in WA
Speaking at the awards announcement, Behzad said he was pleased and surprised to be selected as this year’s competition winner.
“For me it was a blessing that I found out about the competition and the [Dying to Talk] website.”
“My work is very personal to me – so I don’t really mind if I don’t exhibit it. But what really matters to me is to have the memory of my work live on in others… so sharing it here (at 19OPCC) is what means so much to me."
The theme for this year’s competition, "To Infinity and Beyond", highlighted how palliative care is about living life to the full, right up until the end. Artists were encouraged to consider beyond the limitations often placed on those living with life-limiting conditions, and focus on the potential opportunities for love, laughter, creativity and fulfilment
PCA Board Chair Dr Jane Fischer said the Dying to Talk Art competition is just one of the many community engagement activities run by PCA that aim to get Australians thinking and talking about death and dying.
“This year’s competition saw record participation, with 138 entries received. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the overall quality of artworks and the many amazing interpretations of the theme.”
In presenting the awards, Dr Fischer highlighted the importance of embracing the arts as a valuable vehicle to engage and encourage Australians to open up about death, dying and end of life issues.
“I see huge potential for improving the community’s understanding of palliative care by collaborating with the arts. You only have to view the wonderful competition entries to see how powerful and personal art can be, and how it makes you reflect on your own experiences.”
“Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to our wonderful judges and all those who got involved this year.”
2019 Dying to Talk Art Competition Award Winners
2019 Overall Winner: Behzad Alipour “In a blink of an eye"
Young Artist Award: Sarah Hope “Never Ending Purpose”
Emerging Artist Award: Ruby Hennessy-Grant “Roz”
People’s Choice Award: Dani Till “On Point”
OPCC Delegate’s Choice Award: Taysha Barrett “Floating Feather”
PCA Staff Choice Award: Carl Milton “Stardust”
All of the 2019 Dying to Talk Art Competition entries can be viewed at https://dyingtotalk.org.au/art/gallery/