A child beggar on the streets of London, Mary Wade’s life was already tragic when she was sentenced to death by hanging in 1789. That sentence was later commuted to penal transportation to Australia – a daunting prospect for an 11-year-old whose crime was stealing a younger girl’s clothes. Wade’s story deeply affected Megan Seres, whose 10-year-old daughter Scarlett was studying colonial Australia at school and was cast as the child convict in a play. ‘‘It really brought home how incredibly lucky we are,’’ she said.
Sydney artist’s winning portrait features daughter dressed as child convict Mary Wade, while Perth photographer Johannes Reinart wins photo award
The winners of the prestigious Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize were announced at in a function held at Paddington’s Juniper Hall and emceed by Richard Morecroft. Sydney based artist Megan Seres took out the National Portrait Prize for her work entitled Scarlett as Colonial Girl. Seres received prize money of $150,000, thought to be the world’s most generous portraiture prize for her outstanding portrait of her daughter Scarlett.
Portraits of Australian personalities including Adam Goodes, Catherine Keenan and Mick Fanning feature among the 30 finalist works in this year’s Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.
The award is Australia’s richest art prize, with the winner receiving $150,000, while the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize is worth $50,000. All finalists receive $1000 and have their works exhibited at Juniper Hall in Paddington, Sydney.
Kogarah Bay artist Steve Lopes has been named as a finalist in this years Doug Moran National Portrait Prize. He is one of 30 finalists after being nominated for his portrait Dreaming of Filicudi.