The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is Australia’s richest art prize with a pool of $180,000 including a jackpot $150,000 first prize! Run by the Moran Arts Foundation, it accepts original artworks from Australian artists, which capture Australians from all walks of life, from icons to friends. Notably, the works must be painted at least partly from life, with the sitter being known to the artist.
This year prominent artists such as Anthony Lister, George Gittoes, Dagmar Cyrulla, James Powditch, Nicholas Harding, Peter Smeeth, Matilda Michell and Yvette Coppersmith are semi-finalists, alongside previous winners including Lynn Savery (2018), David Fairbairn, Michael Zavros, Vincent Fantauzzo and Peter Wegner.
Among the sitters for the paintings, you may recognise a number of awesome women: athlete and politician Nova Peris; actor Sigrid Thornton; journalist Annabel Crabb; singer-songwriter Julia Stone; comedian Magda Szubanski, foodie Maeve O’Meara, fashion designer Kym Ellery, and artists Lucy Culliton and Yvette Coppersmith.
‘If portraiture is one of the means used to communicate our individuality, connection to each other, and the world around us, look no further than the 2019 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize Semi-Finalists,’ told Peter Moran, Managing Director of the Moran Health Care Group, and son of Greta and Doug Moran, who established the Moran Arts Foundation in 1988. ‘The variety and scope of the selected portraits are vast, yet they all seem to share a commonality, that is, the painter and subject have united to share in the ‘magic’ of creativity.’
‘It was a privilege to be able to get a glimpse into how some of Australia’s most talented artists are currently exploring, and pushing, the genre,’ added judge Kelly Gellatly, Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. ‘The shortlisted artists collectively demonstrate the way in which portraiture can and should be much more than the sheer skill of capturing of a likeness. The power of portraiture instead manifests from the almost intangible coming together of artist and subject; a tension or ‘rub’ that encourages the viewer to remain with a work and to return to it time and again, well beyond the initial moment of recognising the subject.’
The finalists of The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize will be announced on October 16th and the winner will be revealed on October 30th. View all semi-finalist works here.