Celebrated and prolific indigenous artist, Blak Douglas, has won the 2019 Kilgour Art Prize in Newcastle with his powerful portrait of actress Ursula Yovich. Blak Douglas has entered many art competitions, often reaching the finals and indeed has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Archibald Prize four times. The 2019 Kilgour Prize was his first major art prize for 20 years.
“This portrait captures the personality of Yovich, a personal friend, as well as a message. The metaphors for Ursula standing on the chair are quite layered. In essence, it’s that today, the most disenfranchised person in this country is the Aboriginal female” he commented.
A PAINTER AND AN ENTERTAINER Trained in illustration and photography and raised observing a family of artisans, Blak Douglas became a practicing artist painting in a style influenced by the study of graphic design, his indigenous background and overt political commentary on social justice. Blak Douglas is also a traditionally trained digeridoo player and entertainer.
Adam Douglas Hill was born in Blacktown in 1970 to an Aboriginal father and Caucasian mother. His style of painting is a modern POP Art take on traditional dot painting. However, his signature style dark outlines coupled with vivid colours, cracked sunsets and diagonal lines underpinned by often biting political commentary culminate in the distinctive character of his works.
Newcastle Art Gallery director, Lauretta Morton, said the portrait was a unanimous favourite between her and the other judges –
“We just found it a beautiful composition. Often, you’ll have figurative works and in a lot of them (the figures) are in the centre. What we really loved about this was it was off to the left, but it is still so powerful. You can see the relationship and respect from the painter to the subject.”
ENVIRO-FRIENDLY PAINTS MADE WITH SOLAR POWER Blak Douglas chooses PERMAPLASTIK scenic paints. These vibrant, highly pigmented acrylic paints deliver intense colours, including intense ultramarine blues, brilliant ochres and vivid yellows and reds representative of his signature style.
“When I began painting, I consciously chose water-based paints as I felt them to be the least harmful to the environment.
I recall randomly stumbling upon the incredible colour range of PERMAPLASTIK at an inner-City shop for the first time. Gobsmacked by the pigments, what attracted me most was the strength of the ochre-based range which ideally suited me as a First Nations artist.
Now that Colormaker Industries have committed to solar powering their factory, I feel even more pride in being generously endorsed by this great local company.”
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PERMAPLASTIK scenic paints have also been used successfully in the decoration of TV, film, theatrical and photographic sets, displays and exhibition fixtures, signwriting, indoor and outdoor murals, posters and architectural feature decoration. The paints have featured in movies including Star Wars Episodes 7-9, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia, The Matrix, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Mad Max Fury Road, The Great Gatsby, Peter Rabbit II as well as many professional theatre productions and murals.
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