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Tasmanian artist Neil Haddon has won the second annual Hadley’s Art Prize with his painting, The Visit, which he says was inspired by the HG Wells novel, The War of the Worlds.

Haddon received $100,000 and his work was acquired by the sponsors Hadley’s Orient Hotel in Hobart.

The prize is open to Australian artists over 18 years old who depict the Australian landscape in two-dimensional media. This year 30 artists were shortlisted and the prize was judged by Clothilde Bullen, curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander exhibitions and collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Jane Stewart, principal curator of art at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG); and artist Michael Zavros.

When discussing his winning work, Haddon pointed out that in his sci-fi novel HG Wells drew comparisons between the colonial invasion of Tasmania and his fictional Martian invasion of Earth. Stewart acknowledged that Haddon’s work is a “complex and accomplished painting that raises many questions about landscape, custodianship and contact history.”

Haddon will have a solo show at Bett Gallery in Hobart in November 2019.

Works by all the shortlisted artists are on show in the Hadley’s Art Prize Finalists’ Exhibition.

Hadley’s Art Prize Finalists’ Exhibition
Hadley’s Orient Hotel
21 July – 25 August

Art Guide Australia