The 58th Blake Prize for Religious Art has been awarded to artist and COFA masters student Angelica Mesiti for a silent video work entitled [Rapture (silent anthem)].

An enigmatic work that operates on many levels, Rapture depicts the joy of being alive while also hinting at the darker aspects of religious emotion.

In a unanimous decision, the judges praised the work for its beauty, emotional intensity and technical virtuosity.

Filmed from a concealed position beneath the stage at a rock concert, Mesiti's camera looks out at a sea of ecstatic young faces.

Mesiti is a video, performance and installation artist. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Fine Arts at COFA, where she completed her undergraduate degree. She has also worked at the College as a casual lecturer in the Time Based Art department since 2001.

The Dean of COFA, Professor Ian Howard, congratulated Angelica on her award.

"The Blake is a major Sydney art prize second only to Archibald for prestige and notoriety," he said.

Mesiti is better known for her involvement in the Kingpins, an all female artistic foursome. They have exhibited and performed in museums nationally and overseas including the Liverpool Biennial 2006 (UK), the Palais de Tokyo and Nuit Blanche-Paris 2006.

The Blake Prize for Religious Art was established in 1951 and is the oldest prize in Australia dedicated to spirituality, religion and cultural diversity. The annual award is valued at $20,000.

The judging panel comprised artist Del Kathryn Barton, journalist and religious commentator Stephen Crittenden, and art critic and writer Andrew Frost.

Check the Blake Prize website for full details, including other COFA finalists.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 |