Australia’s most notorious mass murderer Martin Bryant is depicted in the work that has won Australia’s richest annual landscape painting prize. The Glover Prize is the richest annual prize for landscape painting in Australia. It is awarded for the work judged the best contemporary painting of the Tasmanian landscape. The winner receives $35,000 as well as handsome bronze maquette of colonial artist John Glover, Glover is regarded as the father of Australian landscape painting.
The Glover Prize 2012 was awarded to Launceston-born artist Rodney Pople for his landscape painting of Port Arthur showing Bryant in the foreground holding a gun. The judges say the decision was unanimous and said it shouldn’t create controversy. Pople’s painting shows Bryant, holding a gun in the foreground. Bryant killed 35 people at Port Arthur in 1996. Pople accepted the award at a ceremony in the northern Tasmanian town of Evandale where The Glover Prize exhibition is held each year in March.
“It wasn’t painted to upset anybody, but if it does I hope that they see the painting was painted in the light that doesn’t glorify Martin Bryant,” Polpe said. “He’s part of the landscape so why ignore it, people said to me ‘you should never do that if you’re painting’ and I said ‘well, I’m the sort of artist who doesn’t really pull any punches’, art through the ages to me that says anything cuts through the ice.”
Some of the finalists for the 2012 prize include, Julie-Anne Armstrong-Roper, Raymond Arnold, Wendy Black, Nicholas Blowers and Bruno Leti. Check the Glover sites exhibition page for currnet hangings: www.johnglover.com.au/the_shows/