Megan Seres and Johannes Reinhart win the 2016 Moran Art Prizes

Moran Prize 2016 Johannes Reinhart Mermaid ShowThe winners of the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize have been revealed at Juniper Hall in Sydney.

The winner of the 2016 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is Megan Seres for Scarlett as Colonial Girl. The Sydney based artist receives prize money of $150,000 (thought to be the world’s most generous portraiture prize), for the beguiling portrait of her daughter Scarlett.

Perth based photographer Johannes Reinhart is the winner of the 2016 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize with his photograph Mermaid Show. Johannes was a finalist of the MCPP in 2015 and wins $50,000 for his image that features Michelle Smith as ‘Tina Tuna’ at Perth’s Fringe World Festival.

Established in 1988, the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize is believed to be the world’s most valuable portrait prize. It invites entries of original works from Australian artists, capturing Australians from all walks of life, whether a public figure or someone from their own circle of experience. The judges of the 2016 Portrait Prize were renowned artist Anne Wallace, Greta Moran, Founder of the Moran Prizes and Art Historian and Gallery Director Doug Hall.

The Portrait judges commented: “When we know the reason for creating this painting we understand a fuller emotional account of the portrait’s subtle force. Seres’s daughter Scarlett had been studying Colonial Australia at school, and was cast as the convict Mary Wade in a play.”

“Women’s experience in Colonial times was already of interest for Seres, who, with Scarlett’s input, made the costume. The resulting painting reflects not only the close relationship of the two, and an awareness of the vulnerability of the young, but also conveys the forbearance required of convict women and the gravity of their situation. It is a work which stands alone as an idea which is deeply personal, yet able to embrace history and cast it into a contemporary realm.”

In 2007, the Moran Arts Foundation extended its arts award program to introduce the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, to celebrate and promote Australian contemporary photography. The judges of this year’s Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize were Jon Jones, Director of Photography at the Sunday Times Magazine in the UK and Alan Davies, Emeritus Curator of Photographs at the State Library of New South Wales.

“It was a standout image, that was intriguing and thought provoking, with an almost painterly quality,” said Jon Jones, Judge and Director of Photography at the Sunday Times Magazine (UK).

An exhibition of the finalists of the 2016 Moran Art Prizes opens to the public at Juniper Hall, Paddington on Thursday 27 October 2016, and will continue to February 2017. For more information, visit: www.moranprizes.com.au for details.

Image: Johannes Reinhart, Mermaid Show (supplied)

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