Winner of the 2011 Nillumbik Prize.

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Peter Wegner Man Resting 2011  oil on canvas, 153x123cm (detail)

I know that you’ve seen this photo of Peter’s work only two days ago, but I feel I must publish it again today to mark the fact that last night Peter was awarded the 2011 Nillumbik Prize with this painting.  The judge mentioned the humanity that is so evident in this work.  The sitter, Graeme Doyle has been Peter’s model and muse for over twenty years.  The two have been firm friends for all of that time. Peter picks Graeme up from his home every two weeks and they enjoy an afternoon chatting and listening to music while Peter paints Graeme in his studio at Diamond Creek.  The resulting work is a testament to their abiding friendship and to Peter’s artistic genius. 

The first time I saw it (unfinished), the power of it nearly knocked me off my feet. While originally intended as part of a diptych the image above works beautifully as an individual painting. The second part of the diptych is of an old comfy chair with a big black dog lying in it.  As in the painting above, each brushstroke of colour creates a richness and depth to the overall image.  

Peter is undeniably one of the finest painters in the area.  The award is richly deserved.

Special commendation awards went to, Sandro Donati for Memento Mori/Mourning Jewellery, a hand forged sterling silver necklace with tumbled stones and a smoky quartz crystal ring and Penelope Aitken for an oil on linen painting titled  On Craft and Cultivation.

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Panorama by Kerry Cross

In addition to these must see prize winners, other works that really took my eye last night were- two encaustic paintings by Michelangelo Russo, terracotta ceramic sculptures by Sharyn Masson and the most elegant sterling silver Pouring Vessel I have ever seen, by silversmith Jeanette Dyke.  Having said that, there are forty four works in this exhibition and each one is worthy of a look.

I’ll finish this post with another of Peter’s works, exhibited recently in the Rick Amor Print Prize.  Not surprisingly, Graeme Doyle features here too.

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Peter Wegner Looking Back.