First-time entrant takes out Kilgour Prize People’s Choice gong

A self-portrait from a first-time entrant has taken out the People’s Choice award in this year’s Kilgour Prize.

Mid-North Coast artist Nathan Paddison took home the prestigious $5000 prize for his colourful work Flour Sail.

Normally decided by votes cast by visitors to the Kilgour Prize exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery, with the gallery closed this year due to COVID restrictions, the exhibition and voting had to go completely online for the first time in its 16 year history.

And the Tinonee artist was chosen from a strong pool of 30 finalists after attracting 19 per cent of the total votes.

Nathan Paddison’s Flour Sail has taken out the 2021 Kilgour Prize People’s Choice award.

In describing the work, Nathan said Flour Sail was a ” self-portrait harder times, the flowers representing anything I could find to make a quick buck even a droopy flower”.

Nathan, who first put brush to the canvas four years ago, added: “Everyone has hard times in life and is always searching for who they are and where they belong in the world.

“Spelling the words wrong is a way to make the viewer take a second look and to understand better rather than just to read words. Figuring out meanings brings a new understanding that would otherwise be left to be forgotten.”

The overall Kilgour Prize was this year, awarded to WA artist Lori Pensini for her work Family 2021.

This year’s prize was judged by Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton, Campbelltown Arts Centre Head of Curatorial Adam Porter and the Head Teacher of Fine Art at Newcastle Art School, David Trout.

Newcastle Art Gallery received a record 476 works from artists across every state and territory in Australia for this year’s Kilgour Prize, which presents some of the best examples of contemporary Australian portrait and figurative painting.