Southern Highlands artist Zoe Young has been announced as the winner of the 2018 Portia Geach Memorial Award, the pre-eminent portraiture prize for women in Australia.
While two of the Bowral-based artist’s paintings were named as finalists for the award, it was her portrait of Australian director Bruce Beresford, selected from 365 entries, that won the $30,000 prize.
The judging panel, which included Art Gallery of NSW (AGNSW) trustee Samantha Meers, AGNSW Australian and Pacific Art curator Natalie Wilson and S.H. Ervin Gallery director Jane Watters said that Young’s portrait had given insight into the working life of the director.
“Zoe Young has painted this tonal work with expressive brushwork enlivening the picture and giving the impression of viewing an intimate moment with the sitter as he sits deep in contemplation.”
While Young has been a finalist in previous years, this is the first time she has won the award. Her two paintings will be displayed at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in The Rocks, Sydney until December 2.
“I am thrilled and honoured to have received this important award which celebrates the work of women painters,” Young said.
“The award gives me the support to progress my artistic practice and I look forward to creating my next body of work,” she said.
The Portia Geach Memorial Award was established by Florence Kate Geach in memory of her sister, artist Portia Geach.
First awarded in 1965, the award is presented annually to an Australian female artist for the best portrait painted from life of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters or the sciences.
“The Portia Geach is vital for female artists across the country and has provided a much-needed platform to display the work of young, emerging artists alongside that of established painters whose work I greatly admire,” Young said.
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