Thrilling email arrived yesterday. One of my paintings has been shortlisted for the 2015 Milburn Art Prize.
When I made the shortlist in 2014 my family, my parents and my in-laws came to the presentation nights. The gallery was a sweaty crush of people trying to look at the art. Last year's entry The Red Peril was 40 by 40cms, which was dwarfed by the other entries. Linda Back, the president of the Brisbane Institute of Art (BIA), gave a moving speech about the late Paul Milburn and the origins of the art prize in his honour. Bruce Heiser, a local gallery owner, was the judge and announced the winner. Christian Flynn, who also works at the University of Queensland Art Musuem. When it became clear to my partially deaf father-in-law that I had not won, he attempted to console me. Using a raised voice to get over the hub bub he said, "Not to worry, you can always put it in the Ekka." Unfortunately his timing wasn't great, as he spoke the crowd hushed and he had a wider audience than intended. He successfully blew away any pompousness surrounding the event.
During the school pick up I told my girls about my good news. First they congratulated me, then advised me not to invite Grandad this year. Clearly what I had found funny, they had found awkward!
Radiant (gathering ideas about imperial obsequiousness and radical libertarianism) Ink on Japanese paper