Suzette Wearne's 2023 Judging Report


Click here to view the Prize and Award Winners

The award for best in show, to Peter Charles Allan for the painting Children’s Shelving, is awarded in acknowledgment of the artist’s great feeling for colour and form and his arresting trompe l’oeil (pronounced tromp loh-eee) which is the creation of the illusion of three-dimensionality.

The artist has given the tradition of still-life painting an injection of vitamin B6. Children’s Shelving is affectionate and uplifting and very contemporary.

Window Journey, Grampions National Park is an exceptional watercolour which brings interior and exterior together seamlessly. It Hao Pheh is seriously flexing his mastery of the watercolour medium in this captivating painting; there is detail, beauty and mystery in abundance.

The award winning photograph was selected from a veritable sea of accomplished works in the category. Susan Brunialti’s shows exactly how a photograph can capture fathoms more than the naked eye can see in a moment. Reminiscent of a Jeffrey Smart painting, I see you is replete with wonderful detail and clues. It is intriguing, inventive and fun.

For best other medium it was impossible to go past a work by Billy Nye. Oliver’s Hill blends the beach and the built-up suburbs and residential infrastructure together in a heartfelt tribute to Frankston. Nye is clearly very talented in observing and communicating a sense of place.

Finally, I’m thrilled to award best oil/acrylic to a year 12 student from Frankston High, for their portrait of a young person in a backwards cap. This young artist deserves to be commended for remarkable skill in portraiture - their ability to convey so much of a subject’s character in a small, unassuming painting. We are unable to provide student's details on the website; come to the Art Show and see this portrait for yourself.

In light of all the young Frankie entrants, my feeling is that the future of creativity is safe in the hands of the next generation.

Suzette Wearne

Suzette Wearne is the Assistant Curator at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery. Previously, she was a curator at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the University of Melbourne where she curated several exhibitions of the work of leading Australian and international artists. Suzette has been contributing to the arts community for over twenty years, with experience in the management of art studios, in the commercial sector and in major public museums and galleries including the Melbourne Museum and the National Gallery of Victoria. She has published widely on contemporary art and culture, and coordinated and judged major art prizes and awards.

Photograph by Natalie Tuck

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