Black Swan Portrait Prize Winners Announced

Black Swan Marcus Callum Abdul AbdullahMarcus Callum, a professional artist from NSW has won the prestigious 2015 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture, WA’s only portrait prize, with his portrait of well-known Australian artist Abdul Abdullah using oil on polyester titled Wrecking Ball.

Marcus, who is currently studying towards a Masters of Fine Art at the New York Academy of Art, flew into Perth to receive the $50,000 prize donated by The Lester Group last night at the Major Award Night at the Linton and Kay Galleries Perth.

Marcus and the other 39 finalists artworks have been on display to the public at the gallery since 24 September 2015, and have been seen by record crowds. The judges comments about Marcus’ work were that “his painting is a compelling example of the possibilities of contemporary portraiture.”

“While the sitter is outwardly recognisable, at the same time the portrait gives a very strong sense of a resourceful inner life and the sense of flux that characterizes selfhood. The artwork has been filtered and processed in a particularly inventive way. A very deliberate sense of perfected craft.”

On all of the finalist works, the three judges commented that “the exhibition this year displays a really strong diversity of approaches but also a diversity of sizes. The smaller works are as equally successful as the larger works, holding their own on the wall. The prize shows the terrific vitality of contemporary portraiture in Australia.”

Other winners on the night were WA artists Olivia Samec and Joshua Cocking, who were highly commended by the judges; Jodi Daley from NSW who was awarded the $7,500 People’s Choice Award, and Jandamarra Cadd from QLD won the $1,000 St John of God Health Care (SJGHC) online vote.

Another WA artist Jerome Davenport’s popular aerosol on acrylic of AFL Player Nic Natanui won him a $1000 voucher from Art Supplier HU Kendall & Co. The Black Swan Youth Portraiture Prize was awarded last week to Ruth Loveridge, a year 12 student from Santa Maria College.

2015 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture exhibition continues until Sunday 4 October at 137 St Georges Terrace, Perth. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Marcus Callum, Wrecking Ball 2015