Announcing the winner of Xstrata Percival Portrait Award 2010

Perc Tucker Regional Gallery has been inundated with portraits of the highest calibre. On Friday the Gallery opened its doors to the highly anticipated Xstrata Percival Portrait Award 2010, with thanks to exhibition partners Xstrata Copper and International Art Services. The works displayed are representative of the vast artistic talent of the entrants.

 While the overall quality of the portraits has impressed everyone, there can be only one winner. Having found some rare time out from running the National Museum of Australia, Mr Andrew Sayers AM travelled to Townsville to judge the award. With a keen eye for portraits – having been the Director of the National Portrait Gallery for over ten years – Sayers carefully viewed each of the artworks.

 After much consideration, Ted May’s portrait of Tate Adams was judged to be the winner, with the artist receiving the major $20,000 prize. Of his decision, Sayers stated “when you  judge  a  portrait  prize you are

looking for a picture that conveys a sense of a real person. Ted May’s portrait  of Tate Adams has loads of character, presence and a vivid colour combination. In all it’s a portrait full of life.”

A nationally renowned, Victorian based artist, Ted May has been a lecturer of drawing at RMIT, the VCA and the Monash University Caulfield. Humour and imagination are the cornerstones of May’s practice, and the work Tate Adams is typically playful. May states that more important than an exact physical resemblance in his portraits is his ability to “instinctively follow his inner feelings and his knowledge of the subject…It was fun doing a portrait of Tate…I began by portraying Tate to a tee, I sat on it, that is, until it bothered me. I wanted something that was more personal: something that was of Tate, not a picture of Tate…Tate is not big, he’s not small either, he just seems finer and sharper in features, and perhaps quieter and softer, and beige in colour. Anna [Ted’s partner] commented he reminds her of an ex boxer with a broader nose, but to me it was sharp. However when I did broaden it, his character seemed to shine. I had to add the Adams’ smirk and penetrating eyes that are his 2 principal characteristics.  So with a flattened head, a boxer’s nose, high accentuated cheek bones, a screwed up mouth and eyes that seem to jump out, or don’t belong, I’m proud to say ….Here is Tate, as I know him. 

Gallery Director Frances Thomson stated that, “the artist Ted May has created a wonderfully vibrant portrait that captures the character of Tate Adams. He should be commended, as all the artists who have entered should. Mr Andrew Sayers has been a thorough and knowledgeable judge, though it is certain everyone will have their own opinion. The public have an opportunity to decide who they think created the best portrait by voting in the Costel Vasilescu People’s Choice Award.”

The major prize has been awarded to:

 Xstrata Percival Portrait Award

$20,000 – Ted May – Tate Adams

 Return to:  Recent 2010 Exhibitions / Awards