Newsflash from : Bega Valley Regional Gallery CONGRATULATIONS! Marcus Callum has beaten out an outstanding collection of finalists to win the $50,000 biennial Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award 2018. Callum, who trained in Sydney and New York, is a three-time Archibald Prize finalist and won the Black Swan Portrait Prize in 2015. His oil on linen creation entitled ‘Meg’ attracted the acclaim of Guardian Australia art critic and guest judge, Dr Andrew Frost, who made the announcement at tonight’s opening of the exhibition at the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre. Dr Frost was impressed with the quality of all the finalists, but reserved glowing praise for the winner. “Marcus Callum’s painting has an arresting luminosity that matches the sensitivity of the treatment of his subject. It’s also a virtuosic demonstration of contemporary realist portrait painting,” Dr Frost said. Callum, who picks up $50,000 (Australia’s richest prize for realistic portraiture) for his work said the portrait is about growing up in a complicated, confusing and often extremely frightening world. “The transition to adulthood can simultaneously be full of joy and fraught with danger. My subject, Meg, stares at the viewer with an uneasy confidence. Despite an uncertain future, she emerges from the darkness as an all-knowing and omnipotent being,” Mr Callum said. One of Australia's most loved and richest portrait awards, the biennial Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award celebrates realistic portraiture in memory of the Bega Valley Regional Gallery’s eponymous patron.
Image - Meg, oil on linen, 76 x 102cm - image sourced from Bega Valley Regional Gallery