Paul Ryan's painting of Noah Taylor wins Portrait Prize
WOLLONGONG artist Paul Ryan has been named as the winner of the Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize with his portrait blue mountains noah - a portrait of Noah Taylor.
The painting is from an ongoing series of the London-based Australian actor, executed over found paintings.
In this work, Mr Ryan positions Mr Taylor over a combined landscape of the Blue Mountains, almost imagining the actor in a filmic scene.
Mr Ryan has long been interested in the idea of Australian colonialism, the landscape, and the ongoing ramifications of white settlement, he said.
Mr Ryan has been a finalist in the Wynne, Sulman and Archibald Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW numerous times since 1989.
The winning work will now enter the permanent collection of Lismore Regional Gallery.
Gallery Director, Brett Adlington said judge Fiona Lowry had agonised over the decision, as "this year there are many, many incredibly powerful works".
"Ultimately, with this selection, the many layers of meaning in the painting will enable it to be placed in a large range of exhibition contexts. It is a painting of great power and complexity," Mr Adlington said.
Lowry also named Lismore artist Bryce Anderson as the winner of the 'Northern Rivers subject' category, with his painting Bathed in Doubt (Self Portrait).
"I was mindful of selecting a work that would have longevity in the Lismore Regional Gallery permanent collection," Ms Lowry said.
"This work can be read on many levels, and says many things about the subject, the landscape, and portraiture in general".
The winner of the People's Choice Award will be announced on Friday November 27.