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St Peter’s College Visual Arts Teacher, Tim O’Shea is ecstatic with being announced a Finalist in Australia’s richest portrait prize, the 2022 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize (DMNPP).

Tim painted SPSC old scholar, John Brewster, founding member and guitarist of seminal Australian rock band, The Angels. John, too is “over the moon”, with having his portrait announced a finalist in such a prestigious art prize.

The three-person DMNPP judging panel had the challenging task of selecting only 30 Finalists, from over 730 portrait paintings submitted from all over Australia.

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize judges original artworks from Australian artists, capturing Australians from all walks of life. Musicians, actors, politicians, artists, doctors, sports stars and self portraits are but some examples of those depicted. The Moran Foundation and DMNPP was established by Doug and Greta Moran AO in 1988. Some of the previous winners of the DMNPP have included Penny Dowie, Robert Hannaford AM, Tim Storrier AM and Ben Quilty.

Dr Gerard Vaughan AM, Australian historian and arts administrator, Lucy Culliton, one of Australia’s foremost contemporary artists and Peter Moran, Moran Arts Foundation were charged with narrowing the field down to 214 semi-finalists, which has now been short listed to only 30 finalists.

Judge Dr Gerard Vaughan AM commented “Each artist has successfully offered the viewer an insight into the personality and life experience of the sitter, and how they themselves see the sitter”. Dr Gerard Vaughan AM is the former director and CEO of the National Gallery of Victoria and was also director of The National Gallery of Australia.

One of the requirements for entering the DMNPP is that the sitter is known to the artist and painted partly from life. In the case of John Brewster’s portrait by Tim, the sitting took place at Tim’s home and studio in the Adelaide Hills. Tim worked at the easel, undertaking the production of a suite of direct-observational drawings and paintings of John. This was followed by a photoshoot, featuring John playing two of his most prized guitars; his 1956 Gretsch and his 1972 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top. These studies and photographs were used to help create the final composition. “It was a really enjoyable experience. We chatted all day long, listened to music, created artworks, discussed the creative process, had lunch and basically had a good time. We finished up the day playing the guitars”.

John Brewster has had an illustrious music career. He formed The Angels in 1974 with his brother Rick, also an old scholar of SPSC. The Angels were signed to Australia’s premier record label, Alberts in the mid 70’s, as advised by their friends Bon Scott and Malcolm Young from AC/DC. The Angels went on to tour with David Bowie, Meat Loaf, AC/DC, The Kinks, Cheap Trick, Billy Idol and Suzi Quatro to name a few. When ACDC left Australian shores, The Angels we’re the number one band in the country and for some time the highest paid rock band in Australia. John Brewster and The Angels have been inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame and are still touring to this day.

The finalist paintings of the 2022 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize are being exhibited and judged at the Moran Foundation’s, Juniper Hall, Paddington, Sydney. The winning artist will be announced this coming Wednesday 30 November and will be awarded the $150,000 cash prize.

To view Finalist paintings and to read further details click here.