Laura scoops Naked & Nude Art Prize

Published on 10 September 2019

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Laura Matthews has won the Naked & Nude Art Prize 2019 for her work 'Sea Creatures', announced on Saturday evening's exhibition launch at the Manning Regional Art Gallery.

The ‘Naked & Nude Art Prize’ is the only art award of its kind in Australia and attracts entries from across Australia from artists at all stages of their careers and working in all mediums.

Art Gallery Director, Rachel Piercy said "the exhibition opening was a huge success, a great crowd with many artists travelling far and wide to attend".

The theme ‘Naked & Nude’ is an evocative platform for creative inspiration, and artists delve into representations of the human form. With a history dating back to ancient times across many cultures, the exposed human figure is one the most enduring themes in the visual arts, and remains relevant to artists across all disciplines.

Announcing 'Sea Creatures' as the winner, the judge commented "this beautifully composed painting may be a landscape (or seascape) but it is one that pivots around the formation of the two female figures. Their connection to each other and to their beach setting is the true subject of the work.

"Despite the agitated surface texture of this painting; one that encapsulates the perpetual motion of the ocean setting, the work exudes a great sense of calm and intimacy. The figures here do indeed appear as ‘sea creatures’ as they are drawn into their environment, and lead us, as viewers, in with them."

The painting is ultimately successful due to the strong sense of the physicality of the figures and the human connection between them and their environment.

"We're inviting everyone to come and view the exhibition, and participate in the 'People's Choice' award by nominating your favourite entry.” said Rachel Piercy. The People’s Choice award of $1000 will be awarded at the conclusion of the exhibition, giving you a chance to have your say. 

The judge highly commended two works - Ainslie Wright’s 'Ripped' for the sense of both trauma and strength which she inscribes on the figure, and Michael Simms 'Hostage' for the arresting sense of luminosity with which he paints flesh as it emerges from darkness.

The People’s Choice award of $1000 will be awarded at the conclusion of the exhibition.

The lucrative event this year carries a $30,000 Acquisitive prize, with the winning entry acquired by the Friends of the Gallery and donated to the Manning Regional Art Gallery permanent collection.

"We'd like to extend our thanks to Dr Philip Walkom and Mrs Dusty Walkom OAM, Gallery Patrons and major sponsors of the prize since its inception."

Entry to the Naked & Nude exhibition is free, and continues until Sunday 13 October at the Manning Regional Art Gallery, for more information about and other great Art Gallery events, visit mrag.midcoast.nsw.gov.au and follow us on Facebook.