Ripples of a man

Josie Riches is this year’s CHArtchibald Prize competition winner for her portrait of Smithton man Trevor Marshall. The exhibition is on display at Time Out on Emmett and there is still time to vote for the piece worthy of the People’s Choice. Picture: Jodie Saville.

Art. A portrait capturing the essence of local man Trevor Marshall has won this year’s CHArtchibald Prize, earning Stanley artist Josie Riches her third win.

Judged on how well the artist portrays a Circular Head identity, judges found Ms Riches’ piece to fit the brief perfectly.

As for the man in the portrait, he believed the finished product to be “remarkable”.

“I can’t believe you can have that much talent,” Mr Marshall said.

“I knew she was painting it but I had no idea it would turn out as life-like as that . . .  I wish I was better looking so I’d make for a better looking painting,” he laughed.

One of three judges, former CHArts member Georgina Laan said Ms Riches had “captured the sitter’s nature” with her high technical ability.

“He has a quiet, calm presence and I believe that she has got an adept style in her work in capturing the person’s nature,” Ms Laan said. “It’s representative of what Trevor’s life purpose has been.”

Ms Laan encouraged others to “get their pens and paints out now, to work towards next year”.

The oil on canvas piece took two-and-a-half weeks to complete with Ms Riches adding the finishing touches moments before the portrait was set to hang on the wall at Time Out on Emmett in time for the exhibition’s official opening on Saturday evening.

“I am a relative newcomer to Circular Head. Since arriving here I’ve known Trevor Marshall the name, but not the man,” Ms Riches said of her choice following a friend’s recommendation.

Over the time she has grown to know his daughters, son and grandchildren.

“They are the legacy of a man of great wisdom and humility with a big heart and a deep spirituality, a listening ear and great knowledge of the teachings of the Bible,” she said.

“A pastor by nature, not just by title. The ripples left by Trevor Marshall’s impact on this community reach far and wide and I believe they will continue to do so through future generations.”

This is Ms Riches’ third CHArtchibald Prize win; in 2011 it was for her portrait of Neil Smith and in 2013, Barb Long.

The winning work was rewarded with a $1000 cheque, presented at the function on Saturday evening.

Formerly a CHArts-run event which last took place in 2013, the Circular Head Council took over the competition this year to promote it in line with newly introduced month-long Art About Town initiative.

“It’s something we can build on now to promote art and culture,” Circular Head Council recreation and community officer Deb Mainwaring said. “I think we can really make September a fun, entertaining month.”

The exhibition will be on display until Monday October 19. The public can vote for their favourite portrait to determine which artist receives the $500 People’s Choice award.

From portraits to photography, people can also wander to Smith Street to view the ‘Art About Town – In Focus’ gallery, with winners announced at a celebration held at The Arty Duck on Friday September 25, from 5.30pm.

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