Don’t really need to explain what this was all about, the names fairly self explanatory.
Personally I didn’t agree with the judges decisions. The first prize was a dull, and ill-conceived, painting of the artist’s (Peter Monkman) daughter trying to capture the essence of the end of youth, as the daughter is 13 in the picture. A lifeless, slightly abstract portrait with very little texture is what it really was, and it being placed next to a A0 photo-realistic painting of an elderly woman, which was a beautiful example of painting skill, didn’t do it any favours.
There was plenty of other examples of brilliant painting though out the exhibit, like the winner of the Young Artist Award, Mark Jameson. His portrait of his younger sister is a scarily realistic, jumping out of the canvas, a tribute to modern youth culture. There was also a painting by a former Grays student of his deceased wives father after an open-heart surgery. The image has a ghostly quality, the ghastly scar a dark tribute to the physical turmoil of such an extreme surgery.
The cover artist Edward Sutcliffe’s painting ‘On Assi Ghant’ was easily my favourite, its photo-realism leaping bounds beyond anything I’d ever seen! Its the first painting you encounter on your entry to the gallery space and you spend a lifetime trying to convince yourself that its not a photograph, everyone standing around you in as much awe as yourself, over hearing all the comments “that can’t be a painting”. The subject of the painting, a elderly Indian artist, expression is one extreme contemplation, years of knowledge captured in the layers of paint.
A massive night! Was amazing to see the whole BBL rig in action!