DARLINGTON painter Alastair Taylor is the winner of the inaugural Robert Juniper Landscape Art Prize.
The highly coveted award was presented to Taylor by the late artist’s wife Patricia on the eve of the Darlington Arts Festival last weekend.
Taylor said he was “completely gobsmacked” to win the award.
He painted a cluster of ghost gums near Darlington Winery in acrylic-on-board after becoming inspired with the way the light fell on the trunks and the shadows cast by nearby trees.
The award-winning artist trained as an illustrator in the UK and moved to Darlington 10 years ago, where his art pieces include clock sculptures made out of rusty metal.
“Really my thing is light; when I paint, I like to paint light falling on figures,” he said.
Taylor said he only knew Juniper to say hello to “in passing” because they lived in the same street and he would have liked to know him better.
The inaugural Juniper competition attracted more than 35 entries, and 11 paintings were chosen for the art exhibition in Darlington Hall last weekend.
Juniper’s wife said she hoped to increase the $10,000 prize each year in honour of her late husband’s legacy.
In presenting Taylor with the award, she said Bob’s generosity to the art community had inspired her to create the new award.
“An award which I hope will become an annual tribute to the life and work of this incredibly talented and very generous man,” she said.
“I think Robert would have been proud to have such an award named after him, especially as I understand it is now affectionately being called ‘The Bob’.”
She thanked the sponsors, organisers and volunteers of the Darlington Arts Festival.
The judges, Marlene Stafford and Ted Snell, unanimously agreed on the winning entry and said “they could see the wind and smell the forest scents in the artwork.”