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Courtney Barnett, King Gizzard & More Named As ARIA Fine Arts Nominees

30 September 2015 | 3:59 pm | Staff Writer

The list of winners will be revealed alongside the wider pool of potential award winners

The drawings of Courtney Barnett and apparently jazz stylings of fuzz-lords King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are among the early nominees for this year's ARIA Awards, being named among the crop of artists and acts poised to take out the Fine Arts & Artisan prizes in the 2015 stakes.

Barnett picks up her nomination in the Best Cover Art category, for her hand-drawn casing for acclaimed full-length Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit — along with the likes of Daniel Johns, Aref & Peter Salmon (for Johns' Talk), Timothy Lovett (for Flight FacilitiesDown To Earth) and Nathan Johnson (for Gang Of YouthsThe Positions) — while the lads of King Gizz have taken out a surprise nomination in the running for Best Jazz Album, where they stare down competition from Allan Browne Quintet (Ithaca Bound), Barney McAll (Mooroolbark), Paul Grabowsky (Solo) and Sarah McKenzie (We Could Be Lovers).

Also among the better-known acts getting a look-in ahead of general-prize nominations are Gurrumul, whose Gospel Album is up for Best World Music Album alongside Christine Anu's Island Christmas and Baby Et Lulu's Album Deux, among others, while Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker gets a nod for his production work on Currents in the Engineer Of The Year category, as do Mitch Kenny (Hermitude — Dark Night Sweet Light), Nick Didia (The Waifs — Beautiful You), Virginia Read (Australian Brandenburg Orchestra — Brandenburg Celebrates) and Adrian Breakspear & Peter Holz (Gang Of Youths — The Positions).

"Congratulations to all of this year's nominees in the Fine Arts and Artisan Awards," ARIA chairman and Sony Music ANZ chair/chief executive and Sony Asia president Dennis Handlin AM said in a statement.

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"The ARIA board is delighted to celebrate the diverse and talented Australian musicians and artisans in all seven categories. It will be a pleasure to join together with the nominees, labels and industry partners to recognise the excellent work, passion and contributions represented through these awards."

In keeping with the awards' tradition, ARIA have also revealed a commemorative artwork piece by 2015 Archibald Prize finalist and Koori visual artist Blak Douglas, who described his work in a statement:

"Generally my paintings are known for a sharp commentary on social justice and with quirky titles and poignant metaphors, often within a trademark 'Australiana' landscape. This year's ARIA design is of no exception."

"I immediately thought of the unearthed," he said. "The unsung, the undiscovered, the forgotten and the excluded. Only a very small percentage of talented musicians have their voices heard. Commodification... the make and break of the broadcasted voice. The visual metaphor in my design is the Thylacine. Its vocal frustration goes unheard within then treacherous landscape spiked with awards. A virtual minefield of opportunity. The road sign indicates the journey ahead. The rewards will come so long as there's enough fuel in the tank."

The winners of the 2015 ARIA Fine Arts & Artisan awards will be unveiled at this year's Nominations Event in Sydney on Wednesday 7 October, at which time we'll also find out the broader spread of artists and acts up for the more 'mainstream' awards, ahead of the big night at The Star Event Centre on Thursday, 26 November, once again during ARIA Week (from 20 November).

See the full list of nominees below.

2015 aria awards: fine arts nominees

best classical album

Amy Dickson - Island Songs (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra - Brandenburg Celebrates (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Grigoryan Brothers - This Time (Which Way Music)
Sally Whitwell - I Was Flying (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Tamara-Anna Cislowska - Peter Sculthorpe: Complete Works for Solo Piano (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)

best jazz album

Allan Browne Quintet - Ithaca Bound (Jazzhead / MGM Distribution)
Barney McAll - Mooroolbark (ABC Jazz / Universal Music Australia)
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Quarters! (Flightless / Remote Control)
Paul Grabowsky - Solo (ABC Jazz / Universal Music Australia)
Sarah McKenzie - We Could Be Lovers (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)

best original soundtrack/cast/show album

Ed Kuepper - Last Cab To Darwin - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Sony Music Entertainment Australia)
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra / Nigel Westlake - Paper Planes - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Opera Australia - Bliss (Brett Dean / Amanda Holden / Peter Carey) (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Various Artists - Beat The Drum - Celebrating 40 Years of triple j (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Various Artists - The Water Diviner - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Universal Music Australia)

best world music album

Baby et Lulu - Album Deux (Independent / MGM)
Christine Anu - Island Christmas (Social Family Records / Universal Music Australia / The Orchard)
Genevieve Lacey / James Crabb - Heard This and Thought of You (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Joseph Tawadros Truth Seekers, Lovers and Warriors (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Gurrumul  - The Gospel Album (Skinnyfish Music / MGM)

2015 aria awards: artisan nominees

engineer of the year

Virginia Read for Australian Brandenburg Orchestra - Brandenburg Celebrates (ABC Classics / Universal Music Australia)
Adrian Breakspear and Peter Holz for Gang of Youths - Radioface (Verge / Sony Music Entertainment Australia)
Mitch Kenny for Hermitude  - Dark Night Sweet Light (Elefant Traks / Inertia Music)
Kevin Parker for Tame Impala  - Currents (Modular / Universal Music Australia)
Nick Didia for The Waifs - Beautiful You (Jarrah Records / MGM)

producer of the year

Damn Moroda for Daniel Johns - Talk (Eleven / EMI)
Luke Dubber and Angus Stuart for Hermitude - Dark Night Sweet Light (Elefant Traks / Inertia Music)
Garth Porter for Lee Kernaghan - Spirit Of The Anzacs (ABC Music / Universal Music Australia)
Kevin Parker for Tame Impala - Currents (Modular / Universal Music Australia)
Nick Didia for The Waifs - Beautiful You (Jarrah Records / MGM)

best cover art

Courtney Barnett for Courtney Barnett  - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit (Milk! Records / Remote Control)
Daniel Johns, Aref and Peter Salmon-Lomas for Daniel Johns - Talk (Eleven / EMI)
Timothy Lovett for Flight Facilities - Down To Earth (Future Classic)
Bjenny Montero for Pond - Man It Feels Like Space Again (EMI)
Nathan Johnson for Gang of Youths - The Positions (Verge / Sony Music Entertainment Australia)