Nurdles have made history again after Warrnambool artist Megan Nicolson won this year’s Warrnibald prize with her portrait Good Will Nurdle Hunter.
The portrait of friend and fellow beach warrior Colleen Hughson collecting nurdles at the beach was awarded first prize of $1500 at the Warrnambool Art Gallery on Friday night.
Guest judges, Marion Manifold, Danielle O’Brien and Jock Serong said the acrylic, linen piece hand-stitched with nurdles, held its own story.
“It’s a technical jewel, beautifully executed and demonstrating a critical issue in our environment – coastal pollution and the dedication of one woman to clean up and protect the coast.”
Accepting the award at Friday night’s gathering, Ms Nicolson encouraged the community to thank Ms Hughson for her environmental efforts.
“How many of you know what a nurdle is?”, she asked. “If it wasn’t for ‘Collsa’ we wouldn’t have. She’s been thanked by the EPA but not by our community.”
The crowd gathered in the gallery then erupted in applause.
Second prize of $500 was awarded to Xavier Lane for his portrait entitled Sinead Murphy 2079 featuring local designer of LoveLock Studio, imagined 50 years into the future.
Mr Lane said his painting celebrated a local identity.
“I wanted people to see that Sinead is more than just a pretty face,” he said. “She’s done so much for the community.
“So imagine what she looks like in 60 years and consider what Warrnambool will look like in 60 years.”
The Warrnibald Prize is presented in partnership with WDEA Works and helps to raise funds for WDEA’s ArtLink program, which assists people of all abilities to achieve their potential.
Included in this year’s show are a wide variety of local identities, from police officers to school principals and advocates for diversity and social justice.
The 2018 People’s Choice Prize winners will be awarded at a closing reception at WAG on September 23.
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