‘Openness’ of Walkley winner’s portrait celebrated

ELLA'S EYES: Deputy Mayor Liz Seckold, artist Sally Robinson, Mayor Michael Britten, Gallery Director Iain Dawson, standing in from of this year’s winning portrait in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.

ELLA'S EYES: Deputy Mayor Liz Seckold, artist Sally Robinson, Mayor Michael Britten, Gallery Director Iain Dawson, standing in from of this year’s winning portrait in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.

Sydney artist Sally Robinson has visited the Bega Valley Regional Gallery to inspect the works of fellow finalists in the 2016 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award.

Ms Robinson was named winner of the biannual exhibition in mid-June, for her acrylic on canvas of Ella Rubeli, a double Walkley Award winning photo journalist, filmmaker, artist and writer. 

“The standard is very high, I am honoured to have my art hanging alongside this extraordinary collection of works,” Ms Robinson said.

Judge Dr Christopher Chapman, senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, said he had been moved by the “openness” of Ms Robinson’s portrait which showed the softness of the subject but also the strength.

Ms Robinson is gifting the portrait the subject – Ms Rubeli.

However during her visit to the gallery this week, Ms Robinson donated her portrait of painter Charles Blackman, a 2014 Hannan Finalist to the gallery’s collection.

Mayor Michael Britten was on hand to accept the donation and thanked Ms Robinson for adding to the history the Shire has with portraiture.

“The Shirley Hannan is part our region’s character, it is something we can all be very proud of and Ms Robinson is now part of that,” Cr Britten said.

Ms Robinson said the $50,000 prize makes a huge difference to her art practise.

“Something like this keeps you going and gives you the confidence to go further with your art,” Ms Robinson said.

“The Award and the Bega Valley will always hold a special place in my heart, I will certainly be back and entering again and encouraging other artists to do the same,” she said.

The 23 finalists in the 2016 Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award are on show at the Bega Valley Regional Gallery until August 20.

Ms Robinson was named winner of the biannual exhibition in June, for her acrylic on canvas of Ella Rubeli, a double Walkely Award winning photo journalist, filmmaker, artist and writer. 

“The standard is very high, I am honoured to have my art hanging alongside this extraordinary collection of works,” Ms Robinson said.

Judge Dr Christopher Chapman, senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, said he had been moved by the “openness” of Ms Robinson’s portrait which showed the softness of the subject but also the strength.

Ms Robinson said the $50,000 prize makes a huge difference to her art practise.

“Something like this keeps you going and gives you the confidence to go further with your art,” Ms Robinson said.

“The Award and the Bega Valley will always hold a special place in my heart, I will certainly be back and entering again and encouraging other artists to do the same,” she said.

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