From over 500 entries, 40 finalists from across Australia have been chosen for the ‘2018 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’, Western Australia’s premier art prize. Now in its twelfth year, the prize pool available to professional, emerging and young artists is over $70,000, making it the third richest prize in Australia after the Archibald and Moran competitions.
The majority of the finalist works are self-portraits offering – what the pre-selection panelists (Ted Snell, Margaret Moore, Penny Bovell, Anna Richardson and Dunja Rmandić) described as – authentic perspectives and a chance to connect with artists in a personal way. A select group of works depicted subjects that were chosen for the significant part they played in the artist’s life and were therefore able to reveal a real sense of intimacy with their sitters. Typical mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolour, charcoal, pencil, chalk and metal leaf on canvas, paper and wood were used; while mirrors, nuts, bolts, perspex and even a swag canvas were added to this year’s collection.
There are a number of 2018 finalists who have been previous finalists in the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture including Benjamin Aitken, Daevid Anderson, Daryl Austin, Daniel Butterworth, Josh Cocking, David Disher, Mark Dober, Esther Erlich, Kendal Gear, Mertim Gökalp, Jaq Grantford, Janne Kearney, Nicole Kelly, Marie Mansfield, Kerry McInnis, Joanne Morris, Lori Pensini, Andy Quilty, Liz Stute, Mark Thompson, Mark Tweedie, Peter Wegner and Chee Yong.
A finalists’ exhibition will be on public display at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 27 October to 26 November 2018.
The first prize of $50,000 is donated by founding sponsor, The Lester Group. The first prize winner will also receive two economy class return tickets from Perth to any Singapore Airlines destination (excluding USA) valued at $3,500 from Singapore Airlines. Additional prizes are the $10,000 Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize chosen by the finalists themselves, the $7,500 Baldock Family People’s Choice Award and $500 each for two highly commended artists from Oxlades Art Supplies. The main awards will be announced on 2 November 2018, with the People’s Choice winner announced on 28 November 2018.
Thirty youth finalists were also announced as part of the ‘Black Swan Prize for Portraiture’. These works along with the Salon des Refusés works will be on public display from 29 October to 23 November 2018 in Towers 1 and 2 of Brookfield Place, Perth. Winners of the Youth prizes will be announced on 7 November 2018.