Packing Room Prize Winner Kathrin Longhurst Shares Her Artist Picks

This year’s Bluethumb Art Prize judging panel are going to be a hard act to follow as each of them are award-winning artists at the top of their field. We felt it only fitting to celebrate our art prize being in such good company by catching up with Kathrin Longhurst, one of this year’s judges.

For those who keep a keen eye on Australia’s art scene, Kathrin Longhurst needs little introduction. She was the winner of this year’s Packing Room Prize in the Archibald, as well as the winner of the 2020 Northern Beaches Art Prize and is a current finalist in the 2021 Portia Geach Memorial Award. Her achievements are a formidable statement of her capacity as an artist, and we consider ourselves privileged to have her share a selection of her favourite artworks on Bluethumb!

“I tend to pick art that tells a story or invokes a reaction, whether it sparks joy, makes me think, makes me laugh out loud or makes me dream away and get lost in the piece,” Kathrin explains on her choices. “Here is a list of artworks that I really enjoyed viewing and that I could imagine living with or viewing every day.”

The Rocketgirl Chronicles by Andrew Rovenko

Washing Night is part of Andrew Rovenko’s whimsical lockdown series.

Two Melbourne-based parents turned their four-year-old into a little astronaut for Andrew Rovenko‘s new series of photographs. Together, they explored the parameters of their radius during the city’s most recent lockdown, creating the Rocketgirl Chronicles.

“I love this photographic series,” Kathrin Longhurst comments. “It’s like discovering the world anew through the eyes of a child or a space explorer, the world is full of wonder. Gorgeous.”

Big Stump by Andrew Rovenko.

Ghosts by Ben Howe

Ghosts depicts a landscape of dramatic clouds and sheep, amidst an overlay of pixels.

London-born, Melbourne-based artist Ben Howe explores the nature of consciousness, personal history and the incongruities of memory through his artwork. “There’s something so haunting about Ben’s work, spooky, thought provoking and engaging,” says Kathrin. With a portfolio that teases various styles of art – portraiture that looks almost like still life, and landscapes that employ abstraction – Ben’s work keeps a viewer’s attention by the narratives waiting to be discovered.

Looking by Michael Simms

Looking by Sydney-based artist Michael Simms.

Michael Simms works with the confrontational image. Kathrin Longhurst’s pick of his work, Looking, is one such piece, exploring various boundaries within portraiture and more underlying concepts. “Michael’s work is so sensual and sinister at the same time, reflecting on some very important topics like people’s obsessions with selfies and social media.”

Queenscliff Headland – Two Surfers and the March Swell by David K Wiggs

Specialising in impasto seascapes, David K Wiggs is a painter based in Sydney. David is no stranger to recognition for his pieces, having been selected as finalist for the Mission to Seafarers, the Mosman Art Prize and the Gosford to name a few.

This piece by David K Wiggs perfectly captures the unique essence of the great outdoors.

With Kathrin Longhurst also based in Sydney, David’s idyllic scenes strike a chord with a local audience. “I’m a beaches girl and David captures the local scenery perfectly with his super spontaneous and fresh plein air work.” The magic of the great outdoors has risen throughout this year’s restrictions in the state, and this piece demonstrates how painting en plein air lends an artist a new perspective.

Danger Zone by Kim Leutwyler

Danger Zone was shipped between Canada and Australia for the process of the collaboration.

Kim Leutwyler is a favourite with the Bluethumb team, so we weren’t surprised to learn she’s a favourite of Kathrin’s too. Danger Zone is a collaboration between Kim Leutwyler and Mark Etherington. The two artists mailed the piece back and forth between Canada and Australia to complete the painting. “I just love this work and I love Kim,” Kathrin exclaims. “I burst into giggles every time I see this piece, a work that sparks joy for me.”

#Blessed by Matthew Quick

A merrymaking approach to some of the darker parts to social norms, Kathrin’s pick #Blessed provides a strong narrative to its viewer.

Matthew Quick has an extraordinary ability to tell a story in just one image. Myths and traditional tales take new paradigms and forms within his work, which employs modern-day pop culture references. “Matthew’s work is just so clever and beautifully executed,” Kathrin comments. “He has so much to say about the world we live in.”

Case Discussed with P.W. by Marisabel Gonzalez

Case Discussed with P.W. was Kathrin’s pick of abstract artist Marisabel Gonzalez’s portfolio.

Bold and bright colours form the ever-present approach to Marisabel Gonzalez’s work. This execution brings a delightful tone to some of the most emotional aspects of human nature. Kathrin’s choice in particular evokes teamwork, and is inspired by the relationship that exists between the different clinical modalities and how their optimal function provides the best patient care. “I love works that tell a story and where you discover more and more the longer you view it.”

Abstract Falls by Susan Trudinger

Abstract Falls by Susan Trudinger.

“I’m not much of a landscape person, but I love the Aussie landscape reinterpreted. I want to be there amongst the trees by the waterfall,” Kathrin explains on her choice of this landscape by beloved Bluethumb bestseller Susan Trudinger. Susan is one of our favourite Canberra-based artists; click here to see our top ten picks from the country’s capital.

Shane Bonsujet

Shane Bonsujet is an abstract artist based in Melbourne. Self-taught, Shane employs bright and bold colours to his work. Shane’s art touches on historical and current references, as well as a plethora of influences in a naïve style.

Cheers to That by Shane Bonsujet.

Kathrin put forward three works by Shane in her picks. “I had to pick three works by this artist as they spark so much joy for me, I just can’t stop laughing at these and nodding. You can say the most difficult things if you use a little humour.”

Elements by Shane Bonsujet.

Click here to check out the full list of her artist picks in this week’s curation. Entries have now closed for the Bluethumb Art Prize 2021. While we wait for the finalists to be announced, why not see the full list of entries here?

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Bluethumb Art Prize 2021: Finalists Just Announced!

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