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2021 Portrait of a Senior Territorian Award

There’s no doubt about it – there are some interesting characters kicking around the Territory. The stories and personalities of our senior Territorians are as fascinating as they are diverse, and the Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award is the perfect way to celebrate their achievements and contributions.

Back for a 23rd year, renowned as one of the NT’s most prestigious art awards, Portrait of a Senior Territorian gives Territory talents the chance to demonstrate their creativity in the art of portraiture, their subjects senior residents of the NT. Plus, they get to have a crack at some serious cash.

A huge $7,000 is up for grabs for the winning portrait, which will be acquired by the Northern Territory Government, the winning piece becoming part of a significant collection that reflects NT history.

Robyn Frances took out the top prize in 2020 for her portrait of John Scrutton, a Woolwonga storyteller, with a particular focus on their joint position on fracking. She says it’s important to shine a light on the senior members of the community.

“This is a truly special award. I think it compels us, as artists and viewers, to focus and reflect on the identities, histories and experiences of a generation of Territorians that have seen, experienced and learnt so much,” she says.

“More than the play of paint on canvas, it is the rich and unique personal story of the sitter embedded in a person’s portrait that gives it its power. People that sit for portraits are anything but passive in the process, they are vital creative collaborators.

“I think this particular exhibition is a real opportunity to honour and shine a light on these people’s stories which would otherwise be less visible to a larger part of the NT community.”

The 2021 exhibition, held in the beautiful historical setting of the Main Hall of Parliament House, opens next month and runs for about two weeks. Winners are selected by a panel of judges and are announced at the exhibition opening, and the People’s Choice prize is decided by public votes submitted while the exhibition is open, the winner walking away with $1,000 once votes are tallied.

Embrace the opportunity to see some of the Territory’s colourful characters celebrated through portraits, all painted by Territory artists.

2021 Portrait of a Senior Territorian Award

Thumbnail & header: Robyn Frances, 'John Scrutton', 2020 winner of the Portrait of a Senior Territorian Art Award Acquisition Award

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