Congratulations to Laith McGregor who has won the $15,000 Paul Guest Prize for Drawing with his pencil drawing on paper, This Old Island, 2018.
This year the biennial non-acquisitive award was judged by Roger Butler AM, senior curator of Australian prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Australia.
Butler selected McGregor’s work from a field of 50 finalists.
“This is an enigmatic work – simply pencil on paper,” said Butler of McGregor’s winning drawing. “At a distance you see two eyes and a nose in a gigantic face that dominates the image. But as you get closer a Pacific Island scene appears. A man with net, huts, palm trees and mountains. The face disappears altogether – it is not overlaid on the drawing at all but it is formed by the blank unworked areas. It is not there, but always there.
Works by all 50 finalists are on show in the Paul Guest Prize for Drawing Exhibition at Bendigo Art Gallery until 9 September.
“The exhibition is united by the artists’ use of drawing in all its serious forms,” Butler said. “Their distinctive mark making always appealing directly to the viewer.”