Perfect trifecta: Paddington, Moran Portrait and Woollahra Prizes

It’s been a good month or so.

Prayer Rock II, Shoalhaven River; 2020, Ray Monde, collage on linen.

A first for me, finalist in the Paddington Art Prize.

For the first time, I was a finalist in the Paddington Art Prize, a coveted landscape prize in Australia. I was hung alongside brilliant artists like Sophie Cape, James Powditch, Blak Douglas, local Braidwood artist John R Walker, Dan Kyle and Charmaine Pike.

It’s good to know people like my work. And this work sold, which is also a bonus.

Then, a dream to be in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize.

The Impossible Journey Home; 2020, Mixed Media, Ray Monde

Strictly speaking this was the 2020 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize and its 20th Anniversary. COVID-19 delayed all that so it’s a joy to have this work on display at the new Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.

I’ve always loved the intimacy of this prize and it was one of the key events for me to fall in love with the breadth and diversity of sculpture as a medium.

So to be there, really is an important milestone for me.

Semi-finalist in Australia’s richest portrait prize; 2021 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

This is probably the craziest of all for me. It’s not the first time I was a semi-finalist. Somehow in 2017 I miraculously was a semi-finalist. This time it had more impact for me because it confirmed that the first time wasn’t a fluke.

It was also a portrait of my kind mate, Tony Albert. He has been so generous in his time and we both love cutting shit up and sticking it down.

Not a winner, yet.

What does all this mean? Well, I didn’t win anything. I did get picked from thousands of other entries, so that counts for something.

And to have my work shown alongside such amazing artists is a win in itself.

It’s good, it’s nice and when the black dog sits on my shoulders, it’s this kind of thing that helps shake him off.

With two exhibitions in coming up in December – Red Fish, Blue Fish at Purple Noon Gallery and Hope at Studio Altenburg; it helps to have these things to give people confidence when they’re thinking of buying art.

Plus, with my solo exhibition at Goulburn Regional Art Gallery in March next year, it’s shaping up to be a good one all round.

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