The annual Kilgour Prize for figurative and portrait painting awards $50,000 for the most outstanding work of art, as judged by a selection panel. A People’s Choice prize of $5,000 is also awarded.
Born in 1900, Jack Noel Kilgour was known for his academic modernism, many of his works were paintings of urban landscapes and portraiture. His contemporaries included Jean Bellette, William Dobell, Paul Haefliger, Eric Wilson and his wife Nancy Kilgour, with whom he established a significant artistic partnership. His work is well represented in the Newcastle Art Gallery collection, as well as in significant state and national collections.
All Kilgour Prize entries are assessed by two independent judges and Sarah Johnson, Curator Newcastle Art Gallery.
The Kilgour Prize is financed by the Jack Noel Kilgour bequest which is administered by The Trust Company, Part of Perpetual.
Kilgour Prize 2014 Winner Announcement Media Release (pdf)
Kilgour Prize 2014 People's Choice Winner Announcement Media Release (pdf)
KILGOUR PRIZE 2014 Winner and People's Choice
Alan Jones Artist Statement:
Alan Jones’ maternal family heritage can be traced back to the arrival of convict Robert Forrester aboard the First Fleet. Forrester and his co-accused Richard McDale were convicted at The Old Bailey in London in 1783 for a robbery involving ‘Six pieces of gold coin of the realm called guineas to the value of Six Pounds and Six Shillings being the property of Simon Hughes’. Forrester was sentenced to death.
The death sentence was commuted to transportation to America but due to the ongoing American War of Independence both men were ultimately transported to colonial New South Wales ‘for the term of their natural lives’. Forrester spent the next three years imprisoned on the Thames before setting sail on 'The Scarborough', the hulk that would become one of the eleven First Fleet boats arriving to ‘New South Wales’ in 1788.
Following an unsettling 18 month period on Norfolk Island, Forrester eventually made his way up the Hawkesbury River to Green Hills (now known as Windsor). Forrester lived and worked in the Hawkesbury with his second (common law) wife Isabella ‘Bella’ Ramsay (convict aboard ‘Mary Ann’, Third Fleet) for the remaining years of his life. Robert Forrester died on 14 February 1827, age 69.
In ‘Robert Forrester #2’, Forrester appears worn out, shackled and placed abruptly in front of the plot of land he was first granted on the Hawkesbury River in 1794. This small plot of land located in Windsor frequently appears in Jones’ work as he continues to draw inspiration from this connection to the Hawkesbury area.
Jones has been exploring Australia’s colonial history and the journey of the First Fleet for some time. It interests him from both a personal perspective and from a broader view point as an Australian. Jones is unflinching in his exploration of the tension between his own personal and family identity and the broader context of the shameful history of colonisation and its impact on the First Australians.