Ken Done goes with first impressions for JADA winner

TOP PICK: Ken Done with the winning drawing In Plain Sight by Melbourne artist Adam Cusack.
TOP PICK: Ken Done with the winning drawing In Plain Sight by Melbourne artist Adam Cusack. Adam Hourigan

KEN Done is famous for his colourful, free-style artworks, but his choices for this year's Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award's winner and acquisitions hark back to his art school roots where the precision and technical skills required to master his style were honed.

Done spent yesterday morning perusing this year's finalists, a task that was not easy, the former Maclean Primary School student said, but first impressions were early indicators.

"I had (the winner) in my head the moment I walked in and saw it and that continued this morning," he said. "The standards of work are incredibly high. As far as I'm concerned there could have been a dozen winners but in the end it's really one person's opinion and I was delighted to award the prize to this particular work."

That work is Adam Cusack's In Plain Sight, a technically brilliant charcoal drawing by the Melbourne artist whose interesting subject matter made the artwork both a visual and conceptual triumph, according to Grafton Regional Gallery director Jude McBean.

Done also chose four acquisitions to complete the $40,000 prize allocation ($30,000 winner/$10,000 acquisitions), celebrating the mastery of pencil work and line-marking.

The beautifully executed works are by an all-female line-up of Betty Greenhatch, Jane Grealy, Sandra Kiris and Catherine O'Donnell.

"All the works in here are by serious artists, professionals who have clearly spent a long time at their craft," Done said.

  • The JADA will be on display at the Grafton Regional Gallery until December 10.

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