James Powditch’s “Great Depression – Leg Theory” wins the 4th annual Cricket Art Prize.
Artists were asked to depict life in and around the game and sport of cricket, in settings of beach, backyard, park, club, village green and social cricket.
The judges took 2 weeks to view and re-view all entries to refine the paintings down to 40 pieces of work for the exhibition and then took another 3 hours to decide on the Winner and Highly Commended.
Winning artist James Powditch said “Bradman was a beacon of hope during the great depression; no matter how bad it got at least we had Bradman. Bodyline shattered all that and with it the national confidence. But he and Australia came back to cricket glory and from the Great Depression.” he added.
His work “Great Depression – Leg Theory” – mixed media on board, portrays the late extra evening news headline ‘Bradman 0’ with a depiction of an old wireless and 1930’s broadcasting paraphernalia.
The Highly Commended award went to English artist Geoff Tristram’s “Next Man In”.
He said “Strangely, as a big cricket fan, I’d never painted a cricket-themed picture… so this year I decided it was time to put that right. I came up with a Norman Rockwell-style image of lads outside a little village pavilion, nervously waiting for their turn at the crease, a scene I have witnessed a thousand times. The picture took two months to create, with me painting eight hours a day most days, so it was fairly gruelling, but I enjoyed the experience so much that I’ve already painted next year’s entry, which, incidentally, will be very different!”
The exhibition is currently on at the International Cricket Hall of Fame (Bradman Museum) St. Jude Street, Bowral.
The Cricket Art Prize offers AU$20,000 to the winning painting, $2000 to the Highly Commended, $1000 to the Peoples’ Choice and $500 to the Players’ Choice award with national exposure for exhibiting artists.
Photos by Mal Lyons