The Moran Arts Foundation has announced that Melbourne artist Lynn Savery has won the 2018 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. The Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP) is Australia’s richest art prize and Lynn Savery is the recipient of $150,000 for her self-portrait.
The announcement was made at an event at Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney by artist, and previous DMNPP winner, Louise Hearman. This is Lynn’s first major art prize. The judges of the 2018 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize were artist Louise Hearman, Ron Radford AM, the former director of the National Gallery of Australia and Greta Moran, Co-Founder and Director Moran Arts Foundation. Ron Radford AM said: “The judges were in agreement, we admired the meticulous attention to detail and beautiful placement of the figure and her dog in the picture composition. The portrait had a real impact in its direct gaze to the viewer as only a good self-portrait can achieve. Her colouration was finely calculated, overall, a very engaging portrait. The exhibition itself demonstrates the great variety in approaches in Australian portrait painting today from large flamboyant baroque approach on the one hand to tiny intimate, almost miniature approach on the other. It demonstrates completely different styles to such a wellworn subject as the portrait. The exhibition indicates portraiture still has a lively place in the Australian art scene.”
Louise Hearman said “A painting for me, when I think it is really good, is an object in space that not only makes me think, but also entices me to keep looking at it. Each time I look at it, I see more, I think more and the more it makes me do that, the more it is, in my mind, a good painting. The winning painting is exactly that, an object that we naturally wanted to keep looking at. Each time I look I see fascinating things that make me think. The maker of this painting has an obsessive eye for detail and is also able to make the entire painting sing as a whole. It has emotion, beauty and love of life’s visual stories. The painting is full of invention, sophisticated colour and defiant SPLAT in your face appeal.”
2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the DMNPP. When the exhibition of the 2018 DMNPP finalists opens on 2 November, visitors will also have the opportunity to view an additional exhibition with many of the winning art works from the past 30 years on display. Artists in the exhibition include Ben Quilty, Vincent Fantauzzo, Nigel Milsom, Tim Storrier and Prudence Flint. The DMNPP invites entries of original works from Australian artists, capturing Australians from all walks of life, whether a public figure or someone from their own circle of experience. Established in 1988, the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is believed to be the world’s most valuable portrait prize.
Readers also enjoyed our story about the Portia Geach Memorial Award.