John Beard

Australia’s most feted (and often controversial) art prize is the Archibald prize for portraiture. But the oldest major art prize is the Wynne prize. This year’s Wynne prizewinner is John Beard, for his painting, The Gap. I like it.


This is another of Beard’s works, Headlands 2 (2004).


First awarded in 1897, the Wynne Prize is awarded annually for the best landscape painting of Australian scenery in oils or watercolours, or for the best example of figure sculpture by an Australian artist. I have a strong sense of place and a love for landscape, seascape and townscape. Many of the winning paintings have become classics of Australian landscape painting, including (below, clockwise from top left) Russell Drysdale’s Sofala (1947), Lloyd Rees’, The Harbour from McMahons Point (1950), Arthur Streeton’s Afternoon Light, Goulburn Valley (1928) and Hans Heysen’s watercolour Summer (1909).


More recent well known winners include Fred Williams, Brett Whitely and William Robinson.