Warm painting of local couple captures public imagination

Winner: Teralba artist Rebecca Murray with her Kilgour Prize entry, Some Like It Hot 2017, which won the People's Choice by popular vote. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Winner: Teralba artist Rebecca Murray with her Kilgour Prize entry, Some Like It Hot 2017, which won the People's Choice by popular vote. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

It was smiles all around with the news that Teralba-based artist Rebecca Murray’s painting, Some Like It Hot 2017, had won the Kilgour Prize People’s Choice award.

The $5000 award was based on public votes at Newcastle Art Gallery and the Newcastle Herald’s website, theherald.com.au.

The winning artwork depicts local couple Ken and Betty Weatherstone. 

In her artist’s statement of entry to the Kilgour Prize, Murray said: “My admiration and respect for these two beautiful souls are a reflection of their admiration and respect for each other. They are an inspiration and though age has wearied them, their love for each other burns as brightly as it did when first they danced together at the Annual Industry Dance at Speers Point Hall in 1945.”

Murray moved from Sydney to Teralba in 2010 and operates a gallery, Flying Spanners, there. She sells her own artwork and sculpture by her husband, Grahame Wilson, at the gallery, which also has a cafe.

She said the $5000 will go towards a practical need – solar panels on the roof of their home, located behind the gallery.

At present, Murray has been painting telecommunication bollards in Newcastle on contract for Newcastle Now. She has completed 25 in the Newcastle Mall and Civic precinct, so far.

“It’s been fantastic,” Murray said. “The public response has been strong.”

The Kilgour Prize exhibition at Newcastle Art Gallery runs to October 15, with all 30 finalists works on show. The $50,000 prize was won by Cameron Stead this year.