Nova Scotia

Sobey Art Award won by Toronto artist Abbas Akhavan

Iranian-born Toronto artist Abbas Akhavan has won the 2015 Sobey Art Award for an installation called Study for a Hanging Garden.

Sobey Art Award created to stimulate interest in art

Abbas Akhavan's Study for a Hanging Garden won this year's Sobey Art Award. According to the art gallery's website: "All plants are handmade models of native plant species belonging to the regions between Tigris & Euphrates river (contemporary Iraq). The enlarged plants act as anti-monuments that archive rare, endangered a extinct plants species that are compromised due to environmental disasters and ongoing wars." (Abraaj Group Art Prize)

Some of the top young artists in Canada were in Halifax Wednesday night. 

Five finalists were short-listed for the 2015 Sobey Art Award which was handed out at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The top prize, including $50,000 was awarded to Abbas Akhavan. 

Abbas Akhavan's Study for a Hanging Garden won this year's Sobey Art Award. (CBC)

Born in Tehran, Iran, he now lives in Toronto. His work ranges from ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance.

"It is with the generosity and support of many people who somehow kind of supported this blind search for what is considered an artistic gesture or practice," said Akhavan.

"I thank everybody for caring about what artists care about. This means a lot."

Akhavan's Study for a Hanging Garden won this year's Sobey Art Award.

According to the art gallery's website: "All plants are handmade models of native plant species belonging to the regions between Tigris & Euphrates river (contemporary Iraq). The enlarged plants act as anti-monuments that archive rare, endangered a extinct plants species that are compromised due to environmental disasters and ongoing wars."

The four other finalists each won $10,000.  

Works on display until Jan. 3

The Sobey Art Award is the country's preeminent award for contemporary Canadian art.

It was created 13 years ago to stimulate interest and fuel debate on the role of visual arts.

"Every year the jurors' job gets harder and harder," said Sarah Fillmore, chief curator at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

"There are no decisions that are taken lightly and there are no decisions made without significant discussion."

Applicants must be under the age of 40.

The finalists' work, along with the winner's art, will remain on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia until Jan. 3.

The Atlantic region finalist was Lisa Lipton, a Halifax drummer and multi-disciplinary visual artist.

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