Winners announced: The Lester Prize for Portraiture

Last Updated: 03 Oct 2022
Abigail Macleod

The Lester Prize is a portraiture prize like no other. With a prize pool of over $100,000 and the opportunity for artists of all backgrounds to enter, the Prize is an unmissable art event that is proudly exhibited in Perth's own Art Gallery of Western Australia, from October 1st to November 20th. We are proud to partner with the Prize and are delighted to announce this years' winners.

The Prize this year is judged by Penny Grist (curator Exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery), Jessyca Hutchens (a Palyku woman living and working in Boorloo (Perth), Western Australia, who currently the Curator at the Berndt Museum at the University of Western Australia) and Colin Walker (the Director of The Art Gallery of Western Australia). The judges state "[they] are impressed by the range of works, diversity of styles and approaches to portraiture on display this year. In the works [they] elected the works told unique stories, captured different moods, and relationships between artist and sitter. Notable that so many works reflected on the lockdowns and captured the different ways people experienced the last year and offered visions of different social and psychological spaces." 

Sophia Alone Respect Grandfather Kutri Makanykarra 2022. Acrylic on canvas 44.5 x 44.5 cm.

Winner; Minderoo Foundation Spirit Prize

Sophia Alone: Respect Grandfather Kutri Makanykarra

The judges state: "all of us were immediately drawn to the intimacy of this work. The work draws you in close but opens out into a wider world and context of family and Country. The way the details of the face were sensitively captured give a sense of her grandfather’s character, personality, and close relationship with the artist. The vibrant contrasting colours and brushwork create a unique energy that brings the portrait to life."

Nicholas Hopwood Quest 2022. Oil on canvas 76 x 76 cm

Highly Commended

Nicholas Hopwood: Quest

From the judges: "we were attracted to the unique subject matter of the work and layers of reality present in the story. The pose of the subject invites to imagine the virtual reality hidden from view. A beautifully executed realism with soft focus and tones blurs the line between reality and imagination in this work. It was an interesting response to the experience of recent lockdowns, inviting us into another dimension of domestic space."  

Mark Chu Here in Spirit 2021. Acrylic and oil on canvas 151 x 101 cm.

Highly Commended

Mark Chu: Here in Spirit

The judging panel weighs in: "as one of the few works that featured the body as the central focus of the portrait, we found this to be a compelling vision of domestic space and intimacy. A dynamic painterly work, the piece explores different types of mark-making to create a distinct mood. The unique composition captures a story through the body in dialogue with architectural space." 

Greg Creek Diecast‐speech painting (picture of David Sequeira) 2022. Oil, acrylic on cut canvas 198.5 x 198.5 cm

Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize 

Greg Creek: Diecast Speech Painting

Julia Donney Smoko 2022. Acrylic on canvas 55.9 x 71.1 cm.

Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize

Julia Donney: Smoko

The judges state: "we were immediately drawn to the slice of everyday life captured in this scene. Her friends are captured with affection and humour. The brushwork and the colours lend a familiar vibrancy to the story and the dynamic composition involves the viewer in this social moment."

Adrian Lazzaro Self‐portrait 2022. Acrylic and marker on canvas 61 x 51 cm.

Barton Family Foundation Installers' Prize

Adrian Lazzaro: Self-portrait

To hear all about Adrian Lazzaro's winning piece and artistic journey, check out our blog here.

See more art around Perth here.

Art Exhibitions

Latest stories