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Richard takes out the top art prize

02 Dec 2015

Richard takes out the top art prize Image

Richard Claremont took out the top prize at the Mission to Seafarers’ annual ANL Maritime Art Awards and Exhibition last month.

Mr Claremont’s work Dusk, Port Kembla, earned him the $15,000 ANL Maritime Art Award, which was announced at the opening of the exhibition on November 7.

The piece depicts the industrial Port Kembla, in the Wollongong region of NSW, not far from Mr Claremont’s home in Shellharbour.

“I live in the Wollongong area, which is renowned as an industrial port and every day I drive past the port and see this industrial imagery. That’s where the painting stemmed from,” Mr Claremont said.

This year is the second time Mr Claremont has entered the art awards, after placing third in the 2013 competition.

“The art award’s topic (the relationship between humanity and the sea) is right up my alley,” Mr Claremont said.

“I live in an area called Shellharbour, which is on the coast, so a lot of my paintings are based on coastal imagery.”

Mr Claremont said he was very surprised when told he had taken out the first prize this year and “couldn’t be happier”.

According to Mr Claremont, 2015 has been a fantastic year. He held an exhibition in Paris, won the maritime art award and is holding a major solo exhibition in December.

In his day job, Mr Claremont works as a postman, a job that allows him to spend most afternoons painting.

He said winning the $15,000 prize would give him the opportunity to devote more time to his art in the coming year.

The exhibition opening last month also saw Vicki Parish win the Bendigo Wealth Emerging Artist Award for her piece Looking Out.

Mary Hyde was named the winner of the ASP Traditional Maritime Art Award for Docked and Loaded, while Maxwell Wilks won the Nevile and Co Highly Commended Award for Boarding British Loyalty in Heavy Weather.

The annual exhibition is the Mission to Seafarers’ major fundraiser, with all entries selected for the exhibition for sale and paying a 33 per cent commission to the mission.

This year’s exhibition closed on November 26.

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