Wise Eyes gets nod
Perth artist Katherine Brown has been announced as the People’s Choice winner for her portrait Wise Eyes, at the Pilbara’s most prestigious art exhibition.
The award-winning work was chosen among 300 entries on display at the 2015 Cossack Art Awards.
The black and white acrylic on canvas depicts an anonymous subject of prolific UK photographer Lee Jeffries.
Brown said she was drawn to the dishevelled appearance and wise eyes of the mystery man and this inspired her own interpretation of Jeffries’ work. “I don’t know the subject’s story, but judging from his appearance... he would have quite a story to tell,” she said.
“I work in mental health... and there is so much wisdom to be gained from all types of people, particularly those whose lives have been affected by disadvantage and adversity.
“The people I have met through my work are phenomenal; I take a little piece of inspiration and wisdom from each and every one of them.”
A self-taught artist, Brown only started painting a few years ago after seeing an abstract black and white photograph and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I started teaching myself at age 18 after seeing an abstract black and white photo of a girl’s legs in sand,” she said.
“I have continued on with the black and white theme from then on... I think colour can be a little distracting from what the image is trying to portray.
“I’ve had people tell me to paint in colour but I realise that black and white is my style so I’ve just decided to run with it.”
Brown said she was shocked to receive the news of her award shortly after the Cossack Art exhibition closed last month.
“I hope that the award helps me to become more confident in my abilities as an artist, I’ve actually never called myself an artist as I’ve always painted as a hobby,” she said.
“I was excited that my work was even selected to be exhibited at the Cossack awards, so you can imagine how blown away I was when I heard I won People’s Choice.
“The day after finding out I won I went into Perth city and took some beautiful photographs of two homeless men, Matt and Steve.
“I feel more motivated than ever to put time aside to paint and you never know, Matt or Steve just might make an appearance at Cossack next year.”
Katherine Brown picked up the People’s Choice award for her portrait Wise Eyes at the 2015 Cossack Art Awards.