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Margaret Ambridge has won the Prospect Portrait Prize with her drawing What Remains, an enigmatic charcoal work that depicts the imprint of her mother’s head, left on a pillow.

“I chose the winning artwork because I believe a successful portrait is one that captures the essence of the artist’s subject, rather than the likeness,” says Liz Nowell, CEO of ACE Open who judged the exhibition. “Margaret’s winning work, What Remains, conveys a deep sense of melancholy, loss and grief,” says Nowell. “And one is left wondering ‘What happened to this person? Who was she to those who were closest to her?’ I find this portrait to be a great success because it left me wanting more and created intrigue, something which is very hard to do in the absence of a face.”

Ambridge is an Adelaide-based artist whose practice is concerned with boundaries, adversity, and social transgressions.

The ‘Packers’ Pick’ Prize was awarded to Lauri Smith for her sculpture The Secret Conversation of Snow Yaks, which was inspired by a dream. Works by all finalists are on show in the Prospect Portrait Prize: Finalists Exhibition.

Prospect Portrait Prize: Finalists Exhibition
Prospect Gallery
26 November – 21 January

Zara Sigglekow