Regional Arts NSW
Skip to content

Nicole Kelly Named as Winner of the 2018 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize

Wollongong-based artist Nicole Kelly was named on Saturday 28 July as the winner of the 2018 Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize with her portrait of fellow artist Jumaadi.
The winning work, Jumaadi + Clouds + Rain, was selected by Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand. When considering his selection, Dr Brand said:
“The work invites you in to the private space of the artist – both physical and mental. There is a strong luminosity in this work, echoing the work of Pierre Bonnard and Grace Cossington Smith. In her work, Kelly also makes reference to both Jumaadi’s Indonesian heritage and his artistic practice.”
Nicole Kelly says of this work:
“My artistic practice combines memory, observations and relationships to place. I examine how time changes the way an experience is perceived and retold, the romantic notion of memory, and how memories alter our observations. JUMAADI is a well-known Australian artist, a friend and mentor. Jumaadi has sat for me on a number of occasions for a body of paintings based on literary texts taken from the Drunken Buddha, translated by Ian Fairweather. My desire is to push painting beyond a surface likeness of any subject (landscape, figure, interior) and into the realm of poetics.”
Lismore Regional Gallery Director, Brett Adlington, thanked Dr Brand for his selection, stating: “This work will make a wonderful addition to our permanent collection, and be enjoyed by generations to come. The work will sit comfortably alongside previous winners, and contribute to the broad ways in which artists respond to the human form.”
Dr Brand also gave a Highly Commended award to Northern Rivers-based artist Zom Osborne for her work, who will Protect Us, which pictures Thirak Marga alongside a wolf, part of a series the artist has been exploring of powerful women alongside powerful wildlife.
Adlington also thanked the sponsors of the award, Hurford Hardwood, saying: “Their ongoing commitment to the cultural life of the Northern Rivers is to be congratulated, and I thank them for supporting this prize, and the development of our permanent collection.”
The future of this biennial award looks strong, with, for the first time, artists from every state and territory entering.
The next Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize will be held towards the end of 2020.
For more information visit