Joshua McPherson has won the KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 People’s Choice Award for a portrait capturing the death of a beloved pet.
The resoundingly popular portrait commanded a staggering 23.4 per cent of votes – from a total pool of more than 1,500 votes since the KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 exhibition opened Saturday 3 August. McPherson has won $5,000 in recognition of the popularity of his work.
“We had arranged our painting sessions to begin and unfortunately day one happened to fall on the day he lost his precious Blue Heeler,” explains artist Joshua McPherson.
“We decided to continue with our session, and I endeavoured to capture Pete's feeling and emotions that day as it shows this tough, hardworking man’s softer, gentler side,” McPherson said.
Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton reinforced the merit of the public's decision, “McPherson has captured the inner and outer qualities of his sitter in equal measure – this is an excellent portrait demonstrating the power of painting,” she said.
Anonymous comments taken during the voting process illustrate the community clearly identified with both the sitter of this portrait and his personal circumstances. Comments include:
“Can really sense the loss and softness in a very strong man who has experienced a lot.”
“I feel like I know this man .... It is so real.”
“It addresses me wherever I stand in the room, with a life force of character. The artist has worked magic into this one.”
“A modern Rembrandt with great feeling and emotion.”
The 42-year-old Sydney-based artist will receive $5,000, generously funded by the bequest of artist Jack Noel Kilgour. The KILGOUR PRIZE 2019
exhibition will remain on display at the Gallery until 13 October 2019.
KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 People's Choice ($5,000)
Joshua McPherson “Dog Day” – Portrait of Pete
Artist statement, Joshua McPherson:
“Dog Day" portrait of my mate Pete was begun on a particularly tough day for him. We had arranged our painting sessions to begin and unfortunately day one happened to fall on the day he lost his precious Blue Heeler. We decided to continue with our session and I endeavoured to capture Pete's feeling and emotions that day as it shows this tough, hard working ma's softre, gentler side. It was painted outdoors in the late afternoon on cold days during winter which contributes to the overall feeling I sought to capture of the moment.
KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 FINALISTS
Peter Barker, Anthony Bartok, Michael Bell, Eva Beltran, Karen Black, Leeroy Chapman, Tamara Dean, Blak Douglas, David Fairbairn, Sebastian Galloway, Peter Gardiner, Ben Gavin, Craig Handley, Jacqueline Hennessy, Tom Keukenmeester, Richard Lewer, Michael Lindeman, Robert Malherbe, Marie Mansfield, Siân McNabney, Joshua McPherson, Nigel Milsom, Lori Pensini, Stephen Pleban, Jordan Richardson, Melissa Ritchie, Jenny Rodgerson, Paul Ryan, Nick Santoro.
Related Special Event: Blak Douglas & Ursula Yovich in conversation and performance
A rare opportunity to hear two of Australia’s strongest Indigenous voices in conversation and performance.
Sunday October 13 2019, 2–3:30pm
On the final weekend of the exhibition, join KILGOUR PRIZE 2019 Winner Blak Douglas and his subject Ursula Yovich for a special closing event.
Ursula Yovich is an award-winning singer, writer and actor whose career has spanned across TV, film and stage productions. She is known for her roles in films such as Top End Wedding and Australia, as well as televisions series such as Redfern Now and Rake. Ursula has written and performed in productions such as Magpie Blues, The Man With the Iron Neck and Barbara and the Camp Dogs.
Blak Douglas is a self–taught painter with a social justice-inspired style influenced by the study of graphic design. His culturally and politically charged works often bring with them a sense of irony or sarcasm. Douglas is a regular finalist in the Archibald and Wynne Prize.