Blak Douglas has won the 2019 Kilgour Prize for figurative and portrait painting. The Sydney-based artist took out the $50,000 prize with his large graphic portrait of actress and singer Ursula Yovich titled Queen of her own stage.
“My dear friend Ursula Yovich, actress and songstress dynamo, has always been on my list of subjects to paint,” said Douglas of his winning work. “This painting is all about her and is a metaphor for the female black voice.
This year the annual prize was judged by director of the Newcastle Art Gallery Lauretta Morton; artist and director of the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) Jon Cattapan; and Michael Dagostino, director of the Campbelltown Arts Centre.
The judges selected Douglas from a field of 30 finalists: Peter Barker, Anthony Bartok, Michael Bell, Eva Beltran, Karen Black, Leeroy Chapman, Tamara Dean, Blak Douglas, David Fairbairn, Sebastian Galloway, Peter Gardiner, Ben Gavin, Craig Handley, Jacqueline Hennessy, Tom Keukenmeester, Richard Lewer, Michael Lindeman, Robert Malherbe, Marie Mansfield, Siân McNabney, Joshua McPherson, Nigel Milsom, Lori Pensini, Stephen Pleban, Jordan Richardson, Melissa Ritchie, Jenny Rodgerson, Paul Ryan, and Nick Santoro.
“This year’s 30 finalists are perhaps the strongest and most interesting entries we’ve had in the history of the Kilgour Prize,” said Morton.
Works by all 30 finalists can be seen in The Kilgour Prize 2019 Exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery until 13 October.