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May 11, 2021

Campbell’s cricket a people’s winner

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John Campbell _ Cricket Art _ EJ  IMG_7391

After a six-month national tour, the Cricket Art Prize exhibition received just over 3250 People’s Choice nominations via its website.

The painting The First Test At Goonengerry: Australia V India by local man, filmmaker, writer and Echonetdaily film reviewer John Campbell, outdid the poll with 53 per cent of the online ballot.

Just over 200 artists submitted a painting for the fourth annual Cricket Art Prize competition, in which 40 paintings were selected. Great Depression – Leg Theory by James Powditch was the art prize winner and Next Man In by English painter Geoff Tristram got the highly commended honour.

Artists were asked to depict life in and around the game and sport of cricket, in settings of backyard, street, beach, park, village green, local club or social cricket.

The People’s Choice Award-winning artist John Campbell said that he was over the moon about the award. ‘I was absolutely stoked,’ he said. ‘I think the people made a wise decision.’

Campbell’s painting was set in the hills where he lives, with the lighthouse of Cape Byron in the distance. ‘As a traditionalist, I prefer the longer, five-day version of the game and have always been entranced by cricket’s ebb and flow, by its grace and subtle rhythms. I also love its exotica and am fascinated to see national characteristics expressed with bat and ball. I grew up in the inner city, playing in bare feet with a garbage bin as the stumps… once a tragic, always a tragic.’

John says that he still can’t come to terms with the win as the quality of the competition was so high. ‘I think it’s because my paining was simple and straightforward and the appeal is in that simplicity,’ he said.

At 53 per cent of the vote, it would appear that the ‘people’ saw something the judges didn’t. ‘Art competitions are like a beauty pageant. No-one knows what the judges are looking for. In a prestigious competition like this, the thrill is just to be included.’


The Cricket Art Prize is an annual competition offering AU$20,000 to the winning painting, $2,000 to the Highly Commended, $1,000 to the People’s Choice, and $500 to the Player’s Choice with a six-month national tour.


To view the entire exhibition see: http://www.sportsartfoundation.org/exhibition-gallery-2012/.

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