Maritime Art Award 2020 – $10,000
Rodney Forbes ‘A submariner dreams of home.’ Oil on Canvas
Rodney Forbes is fascinated by how people tell stories. His vibrant paintings address deeply poignant subject matter through dreamlike and surreal imagery. Figures and objects float against his trademark palette of bright, luminous colours, drawing the viewer in to explore a rich narrative. Drawing on both autobiographical and historical events, Forbes has the masterful ability to portray sometimes dark and challenging subject matter through vibrant, cartoon-like imagery, resulting in deeply engaging works that invite extended contemplation.
Judges’ Comments: Chair of Judges Dr. Graeme H. Williams OAM
This year’s judging resulted in the main award going to an established artist, however it was far from clear cut due to the high standard of entries and their different approaches to the theme. The winner, Rodney Forbes, first submitted for the Award in 2016 and his works have always demanded attention. It was felt that his work not only captured the essence of the theme ‘The Relationship of Humanity to the Sea’ but was particularly pertinent that it was based on the lot of a submariner considering the whole of Melbourne is in lockdown with a pandemic, similarly without contact with loved ones. Forbes is a master of irony and there are many layers embedded in this work, making it a worthy response to the theme.