Local Darwin artist, Catherine Miles has won the Territory’s most prestigious portrait art award – the 2019 Portrait of a Senior Territorian Award for her artwork, Paul and Elma.
Known for her pet portraiture, Catherine’s prize-winning artwork captures the essence of her subject, Paul Patteson with his Seeing Eye Dog, Elma by his side.
Paul has Choroidaremia, a rare eye condition which starves his retina of oxygen and causes progressive blindness.
Catherine wanted to paint Paul and Elma to shine a light on this condition and Paul’s tireless efforts to raise funds for Retina Australia.
The portrait shows Paul surrounded by smoky darkness to convey the reality of his eye condition, and to capture his working companion Elma sitting patiently at his side.
David Henry was awarded second prize for his portrait of Masako Rousseau titled Masako, and Dr Al Strangeways, who won the 2018 Portrait of a Senior Territorian Acquisition Award, received third prize for her portrait of Lesley Eastwell, In the Morning Sun.
The judges made special commendations to artist Lana Twyford for her portrait of Dr Ian Hance, titled They Made a Lovely Couple, and Peter Turner for his portrait titled, Man of Country, depicting Henry Imberamana.
The Hon Sally Thomas AC, Kamahi Djordon King, Jonathon Saunders, Kaye Strange and Wendy Wood judged the Awards this year, based on technical expertise, originality, effectiveness in capturing the personality of the subject and the Territory’s identity, culture and history.
The Portrait of a Senior Territorian exhibition is on display in the NT Library at Parliament House from 9 November to 15 December 2019.
The public are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award either in person or online at dtsc.nt.gov.au/poast.
The People’s Choice winner will be awarded $1,000 and will be announced on 16 December 2019.
As noted by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Culture, Lauren Moss:
“The Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award and exhibition recognises outstanding Northern Territory artists and celebrates the significant achievements and contributions by senior Territorians to our community.
“This year, over 20 entries were received by artists from across the Territory including previous entrants, past winners and some newcomers. Many artists were interested in expressing their subject’s personality and connection to the landscape.
“Congratulations to this year’s winner, Catherine Miles. Catherine is an award-winning artist and an active member of Darwin’s art community. Her portrait, Paul and Elma, highlights Paul’s contribution to the community in raising money for Retina Australia.
“There are many outstanding portraits this year so don’t forget to vote for your favourite work for the People’s Choice Award which will be announced on the 16th of December.”