A PORTRAIT of two girls that tells a broader story of Australian race relations has been named the people’s choice in the 2018 Kilgour Prize.
Artist Lori Pensini’s oil on canvas work, Pride and Prejudice, was painted after her Western Australian family hade the “recent discovery of indigenous lineage”.
Newcastle Art Gallery director Lauretta Morton said the public had made a good choice, hailing the skill Pensini used to convey intimacy and the broader context.
“I'm not surprised that visitors have responded so favourably to this work,” Morton said.
“It becomes apparent when viewing this intimate portrait that the artist has a strong connection to the subjects, and her deft skill in rendering their striped dresses further unifies the strong bond between the cousins.”
Ms Pensini’s artist statement notes that her ancestors concealed two sons’ marriage to Noongar women, denying latter generations knowledge of the unions that spawned her contrasting subjects.
Voters noted “a feeling of contentment and love” between the subjects.
'I loved the women's faces,” one wrote. “[A] beautiful piece of art that assume two persons seem one.”
'To me this painting conveys a serenity between two people,” another wrote.
“Clearly these girls share a lot of caring, peace and understanding.
“Reminds me bit of aspects of the film Picnic At Hanging Rock. Thank you.'
The 48-year-old artist receives $5000 from the bequest of Jack Noel Kilgour.
Sydney artist Natasha Walsh took out the main prize this year with a self-portrait.
The Kilgour Prize exhibition ends on October 21.