Rodney Pople wins 2012 Glover Prize - Art Collector

Rodney Pople, Port Arthur. Courtesy: the artist and Despard Gallery, Hobart

12 March 2012 | Painter Rodney Pople is the winner of the 2012 Glover Prize for landscape painting.

No stranger to controversial subject matter, Pople chose to paint Port Arthur, placing a blond, rifle carrying figure in the shadows in a reference to Martin Bryant and the massacre that took place at the historical site in 1996.

The selection has already caused a stir in Tasmania, with Hobart newspaper
The Mercury reporting on calls for Pople to donate his $35,000 prize to the families of victims of the massacre, or to the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, which is a charity aimed at protecting children from violence.

Pople has defended the work, telling the newspaper: "As the dust settles, the painting will have a life of its own and will reveal the reality of Port Arthur. I put it out there because I believe in it … The history of Port Arthur is brutal. If art can be on the front page and promote debate, that's good."

Other finalists included Neil Haddon, Neridah Stockley, Philip Wolfhagen, Nicholas Blowers, David Keeling and Kit Hiller.

Jane O'Sullivan

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