The KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 is Newcastle's annual art prize for figurative and portrait painting. It awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work of art, and a People’s Choice of $5,000 is also awarded to the painting voted most popular by the general public. Each year the Gallery receives hundreds of applications from across Australia.
Jack Noel Kilgour (1900–1987) was an Australian artist well-known for his academic approach to landscape and portrait painting. In 1987 Kilgour bequeathed funds for the creation of a major figurative and portrait art competition to be run in perpetuity at Newcastle Art Gallery. As one of Australia’s major art prizes, KILGOUR PRIZE continues a long history of benefaction to the Gallery.
The KILGOUR PRIZE will be judged in 2018 by Lauretta Morton, Director Newcastle Art Gallery alongside two guest judges; Judith Blackall, Curator and Manager at the National Art School Gallery Sydney and Matthew Tome, Artist and Head Teacher Newcastle Art School, Hunter TAFE.
The KILGOUR PRIZE is financed by the Jack Noel Kilgour bequest, administered by The Trust Company, Part of Perpetual. For more information about the prize including its history, application form and frequently asked questions, visit the KILGOUR PRIZE page.
KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 Finalists Announcement:
Finalists for the KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 were announced on Friday 29 June 2018. In the total pool of applicants, every state and territory across Australia was represented, with a large majority of artists from New South Wales. Within the pool of finalists, one is from Queensland, three from Western Australia, and four from Victoria. Twenty-two are from New South Wales and of those NSW artists, five are local artists from the Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Hunter Valley area.
Applications for the Kilgour Prize are judged by a panel of three, and finalists are selected based on the merit of their painting alone - judges are not informed of the name of the artist, the only information they receive is the image of the work and its title. Surprisingly however, there is an even distribution of age and gender in the mix: finalists range in age from 24 - 80 years old, and an even distribution of gender. (14 female, 16 male).
KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 Winner Announcement:
Natasha Walsh wins KILGOUR PRIZE 2018
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes has announced that Sydney-based artist Natasha Walsh is the recipient of the KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 for her intimate and delicate self-portrait Within the Studio (self-portrait) 2017.
The prize is Newcastle Art Gallery’s prestigious annual award for figurative and portrait painting and one of Australia's most lucrative art prizes. Walsh was announced as the 2018 winner at the launch of the KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery on Friday 3 August.
Newcastle Art Gallery Director Lauretta Morton said The Kilgour Prize encourages Australian artists to pursue - and to push the boundaries of - portraiture and figurative painting.
The judges noted a striking range of subject matter, size and medium within this year's entries, with many unique interpretations of 'portrait and figurative painting.' This year's selected works were also varied in scale and composition, with entries from right across Australia.
"The judges commented about Natasha's oil on marble painting as an exquisite little treasure - a very delicate portrait by a dedicated artist," said Morton. "She has truly captured herself and she makes great use of the whole space, whereas some artists can have more real estate but not use it as effectively."
Walsh completed a Masters in Fine Art at the National Art School in Sydney last year. This is her first time entering the KILGOUR PRIZE and her work has been selected three times as a finalist in the Archibald Prize.
Natasha Walsh explains that her painting came about after she was secluded in her 'suitcase sized studio' for several months, where she was exploring the nature of the self-portrait.
"Beginning to feel quite trapped within this self-reflecting space, I conceived of this painting where my painted self is likewise trapped within the studio which has folded in on itself inside a convex lens," said the artist.
About the winning artist
Born in Darlinghurst in 1994, Natasha Walsh is a young emerging artist currently based in Sydney. She graduated with a Masters in Fine Art (Painting) from the National Art School in 2017.
In addition to winning the Kilgour Prize 2018, Walsh was recognized with the Emerging Artist Prize in the Mosman Art Prize 2015 and she has been a finalist in multiple years for the Archibald Prize, the Kilgour Prize, the Mosman Art Prize and the Waverley Art Prize.
KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 Finalists:
Entries for KILGOUR PRIZE 2018 have now closed. To stay informed join our enews and select 'The Kilgour Prize' as an interest.