Deep breath for Blake Prize winner - Art Collector

Leonard Brown, If you put your ear close, you'll hear it breathing, 2010, detail, oil on belgian linen, 150 x 122cm. Courtesy: the artist

7 September 2010 | Queensland-based painter Leonard Brown has been awarded the 59th annual Blake Prize for religious and spiritual art. He won the $20,000 prize for a canvas titled If you put your ear close, you'll hear it breathing.

The judging panel, which included art historian and Australian Art Collector contributor Sasha Grishin along with artist Maria Fernanda-Cardoso, commented on the work's ''enormous spiritual presence, outstanding visual intelligence and profound contemplative content''.

The judges also noted that the decision to elect Brown the winner was unanimous. ''In a world of sound bites, snappy one liners and attention grabbing images, Leonard Brown's beautiful and deeply contemplative painting appears strangely out of place … His work is a virtuoso alla prima painting [which uses wet paint on wet paint] and single inspired breath of creation.''

Also announced were the winners of The John Coburn Emerging Artist Award, which this year went to Michelle Sakaris for her photographic print
Font, as well as the 2010 Blake Prize for Human Justice, which was awarded to Fiona White for her work AGE 36.

Jane O'Sullivan

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