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Peter Matthew Yates takes out the the Basil Sellers Art Prize 2020 $20,000 major prize

Peter Matthew Yates has won the Basil Sellers Art Prize 2020 with his “beautifully executed” small oil painting Connections.

On hearing of his success, the figurative artist said he was thrilled, and considered the award a promising start in a lifelong quest to hone his painterly skills.

“It’s become an obsessions for me,” said Peter who fits his daily art practice around his job as a marine biologist.

While Peter usually draws from life he admits he had an online sitter for Connections, which he created from within his parent’s garage.

“I think some of the happiness I was feeling during the time spent with my parents has made its way into this painting,” said Peter.

Prize patron Basil Sellers announced the winner online. This is the ninth edition of the biennial prize and exhibition, with the winner awarded $20,000. Judge Daniel Soma said he kept being drawn back to the winning work.

“I was struck by the honest interpretation of the current social climate, and its beautiful execution,” said Daniel.

Above: 2020 Basil Sellers Art Prize winner Peter Matthew Yates oil on linen Connections.

Above: Eurobodalla Prize winner Raewyn Lawrence oil on canvas Smoke.

Raewyn Lawrence is the winner of the $5,000 Eurobodalla Prize. Raewyn also receives a solo exhibition at the Bas and her oil on canvas Smoke will be added to Eurobodalla Council’s art collection.

The Basil Sellers Art Prize exhibition runs at the Bas from 10 October to 8 November at Moruya’s Basil Sellers Exhibition Centre. For more information visit

Above: Action shot of this year's judge, Daniel Soma, Director of @michaelreidsydney assessing this year's Basil Sellers Art Prize finalist. 2020 Finalists:

Jane Aliendi

Robert Berry

Yvonne Boag

Kristone Paulo Capistrano

Tristan Chant

Lorna Crane

Nicolette Eisdell

Mirabel FitzGerald

Steve Fox

Anna Glynn

Victoria Hempstead

Julie Mia Holmes

Janece Huntley

Yvonne Langshaw

Raewyn Lawrence

Libby Moore

Susan Nader

James Needham

Catherine O’Donnell

Veronica Mary O’Leary

Steven Thomas

Karyn Louise Thompson

Mark Ward