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$50,000 Lester Group Prize

Rachel Coad Winner of the 2016 Lester Group Prize
Artist: Rachel Coad
Subject: Waldemar Kolbusz
Title: Indian Summer
Judges Comments: 

The winning artwork has a scale and presence and the subject’s personality has been captured superbly. The artist has moved beyond the photo realism and creates a sense of nostalgia through the use of sepia tones, cutting the subject out through a white background creates tension between something that is nostalgic, big scale and popping. It’s beautifully painted, very subtle belying the precision that it gives a few paces back. The limited information given by the artist provides a real sense of atmosphere. The soft technique is confident, consistent and feels effortless.  It is a painter’s painting of a painter.

Angus Trumble, Alan Dodge, Thea Costantino 

Highly Commended Winners

Daniel Smith - Highly Commended, portrait of Ben Elton     
Artist:  Daniel Smith                                                      
Subject: Ben Elton                                             
Title: Thinking of you, Shakespeare
Judge's Comments

Combined killer dead photo realist style with a beautiful sense of light, this artwork captures the subject well. The artwork reveals a flawless technique, particularly within the constraint of a black and white. It’s not just hard to do, but difficult to maintain the appeal on an intimate scale. It is incredibly deliberate, precise yet intimate and tender. 

Kate Kurucz's Highly Commended portrait
Artist: Kate Kurucz
Subject: Kazmer Zoltan Kurucz
Title: Dad and clams
Judge's Comments

The judges responded to the work’s intimate scale and its luminous quality of light. The fact that the artist decided to have the subject facing away the viewer tells us a lot about his character and personality – there is a sense of diffidence in the man which keeps drawing you back to it. The treatment is confident, warm and bold without being flamboyant. 

$10,000 Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize Winner

The Inaugural peer prize as voted by the finalists

Mark Tweedie Tony Fini Foundation Artist Prize
Artist: Mark Tweedie
Subject:  Ken Bindle
Title: It wasn't supposed to be like this

$7,500 Amana Living People's Choice Prize

Tom Macbeth Amana Living People's Choice Prize Winner
Artist: Tom Macbeth
Subject:  Syd Kirkby MBE
Title: The Trailblazer