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The Harold and Agnes Richardson Drawing Prize 2018

The Harold and Agnes Richardson Drawing Prize 2018 opened on Wednesday 26th September to a receptive crowd of artists and art lovers alike at our own Petrie Terrace Gallery. This prestigious prize is the second exhibition in the RQAS Biennial 2018.

Harold Richardson was an RQAS President and our first gallery director. Richardson became involved in the society in 1940s and stayed active in the society until his passing 1984. He served the society in a variety of roles during this time, though not an artist himself Harold Richardson worked tirelessly to increase the profile of the RQAS along with his wife Agnes, a talented artist and long-standing supporter of the RQAS. The HARD Prize was first established in 1984 shortly after Harold Richardson passed away, it was named the Harold Richardson Drawing Prize in his memory. Agnes Richardson continued to have a strong presence in the RQAS even after Harold’s passing and lived to celebrate her 100thBirthday. With her passing in 2008 an endowment of funds was left to the RQAS to continue the drawing prize and Agnes’s name was added to the prize in her memory. This prestigious award celebrates the foundational skill of drawing, and has a long and proud history.

The exhibition was officially opened by Councillor Peter Matic who delivered an inspiring speech about the lasting legacy of Harold and Agnes in championing art and culture in Brisbane. Then the time arrived to award the prizes! Our esteemed judge Richard Blundell defied convention by moving through the crowd to deliver his comments and impressions in front of the winning works. The audience was captivated and engaged by Richard’s astute observations.

Nick Leavey with his work “One for the Pool Room”
“One for the Pool Room” By Nick Leavey

The first prize was awarded to Nick Leavey for his work “One for the Pool Room” the judge’s comments can be seen below:

“This drawing is richly and precisely loaded with meaning. At face value, this drawing uses (and renews) traditional nineteenth century tropes by making (drawing upon) specific references to drawing traditions and developments made in European art academy classrooms. However, by creating finely tuned disjunctions between these drawing tropes and subject structures, and by referencing histories of drawing (particularly in the Australian context), these long-standing tropes are seamlessly subverted in several ways. Histories of early colonial drawing show unclothed non-European males as neo-classically posed and proportioned because the subjects were to be understood and seen as ‘unspoilt’ by the ‘pollution’ of civilising influences. In this drawing, the naked model is again seen as a ‘noble savage’ filled with poise and self assurance. Strengthened by the pose adopted by the figure, the ease of taking (mis-taking) the pool cue to be a spear, and that the model wears his hair in a top-knot and is generously bearded (read: hipster and old as new), all easily extend opportunities for ‘misreadings’ to be made when a naked male is provocatively posed in what was a traditional male and gentlemanly domain of fine clothes, fine food, fine brandy, fine manners, and civilised companionship. This subversion is extended by the drawing’s title referencing an iconic (and filled with irony) Australian movie. Who said traditional drawing is “dead”?”

Robin Finlay with her work “Self Service”
“Self Service” By Robin Finlay.

The second prize went to Robin Finlay for her work “Self Service”. You can read the full judge’s comments below.

“This drawing is filled with creative tension both in terms of subject matter and its approach to media and drawing. It provides challenges to the viewer and disrupts expectations and in some ways defies rational thinking, analysis and easy interpretation. In this sense, this work is surprising and novel while also maintaining the central tenets and traditions of drawing. This work demonstrates how strongly expressive, individualised and idiosyncratic outlooks on the world around us make drawing and our view of the world ‘new’.”

Our Judge Richard Blundell gives his reading of Robyn’s work “Ithaca War Memorial”
“Ithaca War Memorial” By Robyn Bauer

The third prize went to Robyn Bauer for her work “Ithaca War Memorial” the full judge’s comments can be read below.

“This drawing has an authentic connection to place and to the direct experience of being in that place. The point of view, the use of tone, the sophisticated mixture of media used, the use of negative space and the role of direct observation, all give this work a very clear sense of authenticity and of immersive knowledge.”

Our judge commented on the wealth of talent displayed in the exhibition and awarded four highly commended awards.

“Boyd” By Elena Ventura

A highly commended went to Elena Ventura for her work “Boyd” of which the Judge said

“A drawing demonstrating the careful interpretation of the subject and consummate execution that requires recognition in an exhibition of this kind.”

“The Muse” by Laura Phillips.

A highly commended was awarded to Laura Phillips for her work “The Muse” of which the judge said “The minimalism of this drawing and reductionist approach to the human form expresses a monumentalism found in some modernist Italian figurative drawing, painting and sculpture traditions which provide expression of and insight into human condition. This drawing exemplifies the axiom ‘that less is more’.”

“Self Portrait” by Kay Kane.

A highly commended was awarded to Kay Kane for her piece “Self Portrait” the judge commented “Self as subject is presented with great frankness and without aggrandising intent – which, in this era of ‘Selfie’ culture, gives this work and the project of self-portraiture a special significance and renews the place of drawing.”

“Digital Beach” By Guy Lobweir.

And a final highly commended was awarded to Guy Lobweir for his work “Digital Beach” of which the judge said “This drawing forcefully draws on the graphic traditions that developed with the printing press in Western societies and expressed the very significantly expanded influences the printing press created for drawing. In more recent time, this drawing also finds a connection with the renewal of printed graphic traditions that are found in the graphic novel. The structure, subject matter and style of this drawing connects with the works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and the way marginal drolleries of ordinary life become a form of postcard of the contemporary human condition” 

The Harold and Agnes Richardson Drawing Prize continues until the 12th October, drop y the gallery to see this fantastic and diverse show in person and vote for your people’s choice winner!

Kay Kane (Dr)

About Artist

Kay studied fine art at Central School of Art and Design, London. After graduation she practiced as an artist in London with several on-woman shows and major gallery exhibits. She returned home to Australia in 1990 to raise a family while continuing to practice. For 18 years she has taught life drawing at the Queensland college of Art where she also pursued and gained her Doctorate in the Visual Arts, painting. For this she created works entitled “The Restoration of Venus” that (unfashionably) aimed at retrieving an idea of beauty largely eclipsed in contemporary art.

Since completing her doctorate Kay continues to teach at the Queensland College of Art, as well as pursuing her practice which embraces portraiture, landscape and still life painting as well as what is for her, the never ending fascination with exploration of the deep visual resonances between human and environmental forms embodied in the ‘Restoration’ series.

Kay Kane: DFA (Lon) BFA (Lon) DVA (QCA, Griffith University)

Kay is also one of the founder members of Salisbury Studios Inc. This is a group of artists who collaborated to set up a studio space in Brisbane, in which like minded artists could work and teach.

Over the last year she has completed a portrait of Professor Pat Weller AO, commissioned by Griffith University, and is preparing for participation in a series of eight exhibitions over the next 12 months. These include her doctoral work “The Restoration of Venus” being exhibited in Philadelphia USA and two one woman exhibitions, one in Sydney and on here at the Petrie Terrace gallery.

Contact Artist


Brisbane: Landmarks, Landscapes and Personalities

From Noosa to Brisbane and down to the border and back what does south-east Queensland mean to you?

That is the question our artists asked themselves for this exhibition. RQAS artists and others engaged with the unique heritage and characters of Brisbane and it’s surrounding cities and the work they produced based on these observations was as diverse, lively and colourful as the river city we call home.

The exhibition was opened by Councillor for Central Ward Vicki Howard, who has been a long time supporter of the RQAS Brisbane Branch and shared her impressions of this exhibition and its success in capturing Brisbane city’s heritage.

Our judge Clair Sourgnes who had the difficult task of picking a winner from many wonderful works on display, then addressed the considerable crowd noting the diversity of the work displayed both in medium and style.

Pictured 1st prize winner Julia Jackson.

First prize went to Julia Jackson for “A tale of two bridges” Judge’s comments:

“Diminutive in stature, this painting speaks so strongly to me of Brisbane, our relationship to the river and its crossing points. The paint application is deft and confident.”

Image: Paul Anthony 2nd Prize winner.

Second prize went to Paul Anthony for his piece “Port of Brisbane” Judge’s comments:

“With the Port of Brisbane fast becoming the first port of call for visitors to this city, I like the choice of subject matter in this painting.

Strong composition and colour choice also made it a compelling painting.”

Image: 3rd prize winner Craig Amos

Third prize went to Craig Amos for “Bridge Pub”

Judge’s comments:

Complicated and layered, this painting is a striking view of a Brisbane icon. Explosion of colour that screams summer.”

So vast was the talent that our judge decided on three highly commended awards instead of the two usually on offer.

Highly commended awards went to Travis Hendrix, Peter Hubbard and Leanne Carkeet, see the judge’s comments below:

Image: Leanne Carkeet Highly Commended.

Leanne Carkeet – Around the corner, Petrie Tce

Judge’s comments:

“Nothing speaks more strongly of Brisbane that it’s colonial architecture. The bold composition and colour of this painting work really well to create a sense of place.”

Image: Peter Hubbard – Highly Commended




Image: Travis Hendrix “Keeping a Vigil” Highly Commended


Judge’s comments:

“An iconic and familiar perspective of a Brisbane landmark. Strong composition and technical ability, with a touch of humour in choice of media.”


With over 80 people in attendance, 40 artists sharing their vision of our town and several sales the opening of Brisbane: Landmarks, Landscapes and Personalities was a success. The exhibition continues until Friday 20th April, drop by Petrie Terrace Gallery Tuesday through Sunday 10 am – 3:30 pm to catch this fantastic show.

Chiaroscuro : Beauty in Contrast

Chiaroscuro: Beauty in Contrast

This RQAS sponsored Exhibition and Fundraiser opened last Wednesday 14th March showing a collection of contemporary Queensland artists who have engaged with the contrast of light and darkness and created work to raise awareness for bipolar disorder and mental health. We had several special guests involved in this opening who donated their time and their talents; Elly Hoyt, Peter Ferreira, Christian Hamilton and Anne Naylor our keynote speaker. Anne donated not only her time but also an artwork to be auctioned and copies of her book “Art from Adversity: A Life with Bipolar” the proceeds from these will go to Black Dog Institute.

The opening night was a success with over 80 people in attendance and a lot of fresh faces in the gallery, this exhibition attracted a lot of outside artists as well as outsider artists including a few artists who have personal experiences that relate to the themes explored, we are excited to provide a platform for them to exhibit, this exhibition was inclusive and diverse in its representation of  Queensland artists.

The opening event kicked off with a wonderful performance by local singer/songwriter Elly Hoyt and then Black Dog speaker Peter Ferreira took to the stage and helped us understand how to support someone who struggles with mental health issues. After this Anne Naylor our keynote speaker and author of “Art from Adversity: A Life with Bipolar” addressed the audience with an inspirational speech about her art practice and some obstacles she has overcome. Following this Christian from Harcourts opened bidding on Anne Naylor’s “Of Thorns and Petals” which was taken out by artist Craig Dalton with a closing bid of $500. In a whirlwind of generosity Craig then threw his own work up for auction and which fundraised a further $350 for Black Dog Institute.

Through the door fees, book sales and auctions we fundraised over $1,200 for Black Dog Institute.

Thank you to everyone who attended and donated to this cause.

Chiaroscuro: Beauty in Contrast continues until Thursday 29thMarch, come to  Petrie Terrace Gallery  Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 3:30 pm to see this wonderful exhibition.

With special thanks to those who helped make this exhibition happen:

Anne Naylor – Anne is a Sydney artist and author you can check her work out here –

Anne Naylor

Art From Adversity: A Life with Bipolar

Craig Dalton – Craig has work in “Snap” a photographic exhibition opening at Aspire this Saturday 4 pm, Craig is working towards his second solo show now.

See more of his work here –

Craig Dalton Instagram

Craig Dalton Facebook

Elly Hoyt – Elly is a local singer and songwriter thriving in both her solo career and her four-piece band My Nightingale check her out here –

Elly Hoyt

My Nightingale

Penelope Gilbert-Ng

About Artist

Penelope Gilbert-Ng ‘s journey as an artist started aged 3,Studied at East SydneyTechnical College late teens (Diploma of Painting, 1971) and furthering her development with her painting in isolation in Papua New Guinea (13 years). On returning to Australia 1986 studied with noted artists in Australia, New York (Pastel Society of America Scholarship), and New Mexico( International Association of Societies Convention). Penelope believes that continual learning is essential for self-development as an artist. She is President of Pastel Society of Australia and Master Pastellist with the Pastel Society of Australia, Past President and Fellow of the Royal Qld Art Society and sought after tutor with Art Societies and Groups Nationally in all mediums. Penelope has been a finalist in the Archibald and Portia Geach Portrait Prizes and has had numerous solo and joint exhibitions. Her commissioned paintings are represented in corporate/ private collections worldwide. Winner of many competitions combining knowledge and dedication to her art has enabled her to judge shows since 2002. Penelope has written 6 articles for The Australian Artist Magazine (Dec 2000, March 2006). Australian Artist July 2009/ April 2011“How did you do that”. Portrait painting July 2012. May 2013 Acrylic portraiture. Demonstrated (by invitation) at the International Association of Pastel Societies (Portraiture) May 2009 Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Contact Artist

Phone: (07) 3219 9253



Alison Murphy

About Artist

I have used most mediums- graphite, pen, acrylics and oils, coloured pencils and watercolour pencils. Recently mainly using oils and pastels. Many of my early works were commissions of old homes in graphite or pen. Studied art by correspondence many years ago, and have attended workshops with John Wilson on a regular basis, also attending workshops with Warwick Fuller, Brian Allison, Terry Wilkinson etc. I have been involved in group exhibitions when time allowed, and my work has been acquired by Councils and Regional Government departments as well as by private collectors nationally. Myartwork is represented in several regional galleries.

Joan Cooper

About Artist

Joan was born in Brisbane, Queensland. In 1975 she completed a recognised Fine Arts course at a NSW Technical College. Subsequently she returned to Brisbane and over the next 15-20 years qualified in Management Courses in The Care of the Handicapped; Welfare Skills and Welfare Resources in both the private and Govt. Sectors.

Joan has owned and operated several businesses. She studied for a Commerce Degree whilst working in her husband’s Public Accounting and Taxation Practice. The stock for Joan’s retail clothing outlets was supplied by her clothing manufacturing business. Her foundation in Fine Art and Graphic Design supported the task of Pattern Grading and Design to comply with Australian Industry Standards.

Len and Joan have had a number of Blue Ribbon Exhibitions with Jocelyn, Edward and Michele Gedge at Cootharaba Studio at Annerley. Jocelyn and Joan, Les Belles Art Directors have curated and exhibited in collectively 36 solo exhibitions. The many excursions the couple have enjoyed through camping in some of the remotest corridors in Australia reflect in the colour and form of Joan’s work which has been hung in Government Departments, Hospitals, private and overseas collections.

She and her husband Len, a warm glass artist, have just returned from Roma after mounting a major Exhibition of Visual Art and glass sculptures at the Roma on Bungil Gallery. The exhibition “The Essence of Australia from Desert to Sea” was opened by the Governor of Queensland Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC who thanked the couple for the decades of service to the visual arts in Queensland. Click here The Governor’s Speech. Joan has recently been accepted as a Professional Member of the National Association for the Visual Arts.



Esther Austin

About Artist

Esther Austin MVA, FRQAS is a dedicated artist and passionate about art.

Her early studies of drawing, composition and colour mixing underpinned the structure and quality of her work which embraced many facets of art.

Esther has won many awards and held solo exhibitions in Australia and Papua New Guinea.

She considers one of the highlights of her career was an artist-in-residence at Arthur Boyd’s studio at Riversdale.

Esther’s work has been published in Australian Artist Magazine and with the assistance of Arts Queensland and Logan City Council has published ‘Mountains Within’ an autobiographical account of aspects of her life and work.

Graham W. Smith


About the Artist

Graham has worked in oils, acrylics, pastels, watercolours and mixed media since 1966.

His main oeuvre is landscapes and seascapes but in the 2017 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize his oil painting of “Silver Steve”, a human statue in Queen St Mall was one of 200 semi finalists out of 1200 entries Australia wide. Out of 453 art awards he has received 164 First Prizes including 61 Acquisitive awards.

His works are predominantly vignettes of life, usually from the many countries he has visited over the course of his career.  Graham likes to paint his work on site and then return to his studio and develop the studies into much larger works.

He has held workshops in all mediums in Qld, S.A., N.S.W., Tasmania and Western Australia and has tutored at the Bunbury Regional Gallery, Tweed River Regional Gallery and Bundaberg Regional Gallery.

Over the last 19 years he has contributed over 100 articles including a monthly “Art Tips” column that ran for 5 years in the Australian Artist magazine.

His TV programme “Arts Masterclass” shown over 12 episodes on Briz 31, has been aired in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and he also ran a twice weekly art tips segment on Bay FM radio, Brisbane for 9 months.

His work is in the collections of Sunshine Coast Regional Gallery and Pine Rivers Gallery in Queensland.

Judging engagements have included Hervey Bay Art Awards, Mt Isa, Blackwater, Bell, Gatton, Beenleigh, Redlands, Redcliffe, Gold Coast and the Watercolour Society.

His watercolour and acrylic sketch books done in Italy, Tahiti and Thailand with many of these images reproduced in articles in the “Australian Artist” magazine.

In 2004 he became a Master Pastellist with the Pastel Society of Australia.  In 2005 Graham received a scholarship from the Pastel Society of America in New York.  Arts Queensland proivded him with a travel grant to undertake this study.

In 2015 Royal Queensland Art Society awarded him a Fellowship to the Society for his services to art and he has created over 2800 works across all mediums.

In 2018 he has been invited to exhibit at “Fabriano in Acquarello” Watercolour Convention 3-7th May and his work will appear alongside artists from 70 countries in the prestigious world’s largest watercolour event at Fabriano in Italy where they have been manufacturing watercolour paper for centuries.

Telephone:  (07)  3893 1976          Email:

Graham W. Smith – Professional artist, tutor and art judge