Dressed up for the Win

Congratulations to Megan Seres and Johannes Reinhart, winners of the 2016 Moran Art Prizes.

Megan Seres, a Sydney artist, received $150,000 winning the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize for her painting of ‘Scarlett as Colonial Girl’, and Perth based photographer, Johannes Reinhart, was awarded $50,000 for the 2016 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize with his photograph of ‘Mermaid Show’.

Perhaps this year’s judges had a penchant for narrative and make-believe. Both artists tapped into the viewer’s imagination with their subjects in costume for their portraits. Megan Seres’ daughter Scarlett was painted in her home-made school costume as a Colonial girl, set against an abstracted background as if eerily balancing the line between past and present at the hour of dusk, whilst Reinhart’s photograph featured Michelle Smith as ‘Tina the Tuna’, a mermaid beguiling her captive audience at Perth’s Fringe World Festival.

The judges of the 2016 Portrait Prize were artist Anne Wallace, Greta Moran, Founder of the Moran Prizes and Art Historian and Gallery Director Doug Hall. On their attraction to the prize, the Portrait judges commented: “When we know the reason for creating this painting we understand a fuller emotional account of the portrait’s subtle force. Seres’s daughter Scarlett had been studying Colonial Australia at school, and was cast as the convict Mary Wade in a play. Women’s experience in Colonial times was already of interest for Seres, who, with Scarlett’s input, made the costume. The resulting painting reflects not only the close relationship of the two, and an awareness of the vulnerability of the young, but also conveys the forbearance required of convict women and the gravity of their situation. It is a work which stands alone as an idea which is deeply personal, yet able to embrace history and cast it into a contemporary realm.”

The judges of this year’s Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize were Jon Jones, Director of Photography at the Sunday Times Magazine in the UK and Alan Davies, Emeritus Curator of Photographs at the State Library of New South Wales. Jon Jones comments on Johannes Reinhart’s image: “It was a standout image, that was intriguing and thought provoking, with an almost painterly quality.”

The exhibition is now open to the public. The exhibition showcases the works of the 30 finalists in the 2016 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and the 30 finalists in the 2016 Moran
Contemporary Photography Prize (Open section), as well as winning entries in the Student section of the Photography Prize.

2016 Moran Prizes

Juniper Hall, Paddington
26 October – Feburary 2017

Courtesy the artists and Moran Art Prizes.