The Brisbane Portrait Prize Exhibition has officially opened its doors to the public for the fifth year running.

This year’s prize boasts 84 wonderful works, selected from more than 600 entries, with the winning artwork to receive the Lord Mayor’s $50,000 award.

One of this year’s finalists, Nicola Hooper, is extremely grateful to have been selected in the 2023 exhibition.

Shailer Park local Nicola Hooper said she was shocked to be selected as a finalist in this year’s Brisbane Portrait Prize.

“To be selected from more than 600 entries is just such an honour,” said Nicola Hooper.

“There are so many great artworks up on these walls and it’s just wonderful to be a part of it.

“My mother had encouraged me to enter my artwork, Pig Man, a portrait of my son Declan,” she said.

Ms Hooper’s portrait was created using a lithography method, where the artist draws a design onto a flat stone or prepared metal plate such as aluminium and affixed by means of a chemical reaction.

Nicola Hooper Artwork
Nicola Hooper Artwork

“I’m a lithographer, that’s my thing and this work combines hand-coloured lithography with photography,” Ms Hooper said.

It unifies traditional and digital practices.

“This is a new area of combining photography and then printing over my hand drawn work over the top of the photographs. It’s a very extensive process, it was difficult to find a place to print my photographs because it needs to be done on a particular paper for lithograph.

“My inspiration for this artwork stems from the work I’ve done previously on our relationship with animals. I’m also a type one diabetic, and when I was first diagnosed, I had to inject pork insulin, so I’ve always had an affinity to pigs.

“Then, my sister discovered that my maiden name, Grice, is the name of a pig extinct from the north of England, and it was known for being a little feisty.

“My son, the subject of the portrait is quite feisty also. For many years, specifically during my pregnancy I was injecting that pork insulin, so I like to say my son is part pig,” Ms Hooper said.

The exhibition will be open to the public until 29 October with Chief Judge, Suzanne Cotter, Director Museum of Contemporary Art Australia announcing the winners on Tuesday 3 October.

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