Wise Eyes gets nod

Pilbara News - - Lifestyle - Court­ney Fowler

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.”

Pic­ture: City of Kar­ratha

Kather­ine Brown picked up the Peo­ple’s Choice award for her por­trait Wise Eyes at the 2015 Cos­sack Art Awards.

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