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Student News: The Lester Prize

Katrina Wyer from the Advanced Year 10 Visual Arts class has had her self portrait ‘In loving memory of.’ selected as a finalists for the Lester Prize. The Lester Prize for portraiture, formally the Black Swan Portraiture Prize is open to High School students across Australia and is considered to be one of the country’s premier art prizes. Finalists will exhibit their work at Brookfield Place and will be in the running to win art supplies valued at $1,950 in addition to, artist workshops for their school to the value of $1,500. Katrina’s work has been selected by a high profile judging panel including Dr Nicole Slatter Senior Lecturer of Creative arts at Curtin University and Helen Turner the founder and director of Turner Galleries, a leading contemporary art space in Perth.

Katrina worked with watercolours and studied the style of contemporary artist Cherry Hood. Her work is influenced by the day to day struggles of having to live with Glycogen Storage Disease up until the age of 10.

‘This artwork represents the vulnerability and limitations I experienced during childhood, and how my transplant had unexpectedly changed all of this. As with the tragic car accident ending the life of a young man, who was only 18 years of age, gave me the unlikely opportunity to live. My piece is an expression of life and death bound together using the veins of the young’.

‘I have painted myself pictured lying in bed at the Children Hospital in Westmead, Sydney awaiting my liver transplant. This piece is dedicated to the wonderful team at Donate Life WA and my organ donor,’

Quote taken from Katrina Wyer’s artist statement

I was not surprised this piece was selected not only is it technically skillful it is authentic and while conveying personal issues the loose brushstrokes and subtle use of the medium really convey a sombre mood and create a ghostly image. A strong piece that would resnonate with many and a sophisticated piece for a Year 10 student.

Well done Katrina!

Written by Serena Parker