13.2 C
Byron Shire
April 15, 2021

Local photographer finalist in National Portrait Prize

Latest News

SCU celebrates alumni achievements with awards

A group of Southern Cross University graduates who have made extraordinary global achievements in research, community building, healthcare and environmental issues have been acknowledged with the 2020 Alumni Impact Awards.

Other News

Interview with Mitch King from Dream Bigger

Dream Bigger is presenting Lismore Youth Festival in partnership with numerous organisations in Lismore. Dream Bigger connects established artists with potential future artists to make their ideas a reality through engaging workshops and collaboration. The Echo spoke to Mitch King from Dream Bigger.

A man dead after boat capsizes on Ballina Bar

Police have confirmed that a man has died after a boat capsized at Ballina earlier today.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: The New Resilience

Resilience is dead. The word has been overused. Some may say the word is no longer resilient. We broke it. It’s unfortunate because it was a really good word.

Maybe Canberra needs a bit of distraction biff

Mick breathed in but his Cronulla Sharks football jersey struggled to contain his well-insulated six-pack and he held up his hand as he approached Bazza in the front bar of the Top Pub.

The importance of talking about ovaries

Brother and sister clothing designers Camilla Freeman-Topper and Marc Freeman are, were 11 and 13 respectively when their mother died of ovarian cancer.

Take a ticket

Council’s Draft Complaint Handling Policy is on exhibition! It’s a document that, if drafted carefully, could provide the public with confidence that Council take complaints seriously and accountability will apply when a complaint is found to be true.

Pin Point. Photo Rod Poole (the finalist photo cannot yet be made public).

Lismore-based photographer R J Poole is one of eighty finalists from over 3,000 entries in this year’s Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize.

The Portrait Prize is one of Australia’s premier art events and will be shown at the National Portrait Gallery in King Edward Terrace in Canberra from July 31 until November 7, 2021.

Mr Poole told The Echo he was honoured to be a finalist. This is the first time he’s entered the competition. ‘There so many artists doing so many things, that being seen or heard above this background noise is extremely difficult,’ he said.

‘Added to this is Australia’s concentration of people and resources in Sydney and Melbourne. So competitions are one of the few ways regional-based artists have any chance of recognition.

‘The Australian arts are heavily institutionalized and under funded, so I’ve invested a lot of energy in traveling and exhibiting in other parts of the world where art in general is more valued,’ said Mr Poole.

‘While I’ve struggled to find any interest or support for my work at home, my art has been more warmly received elsewhere – so my shortlisting in the National Portrait Prize is a welcomed acknowledgement.’

Work in Australia and overseas

Just Beyond Sight. Photo R J Poole.

With a background in the military, Mr Poole has been active in the photographic art world since the 1980s, and has exhibited widely.

His signature body of work the ‘Anima Series’ is inspired by the feminine aspect of the male psyche and includes such themes as gender identity, spirituality and innocence.

While most of the Anima Series is photographed locally in the Northern Rivers, it includes overseas work in Sweden, the Czech Republic, Romania and the American Mid-West.

R J  Poole is also known for his iconic photographs of the Bentley Blockade.

With few exceptions, Mr Poole collaborates with various people in Lismore, some of whom have been working with him for up to seventeen years and who provide an alter ego through which he expresses himself.

While the finalist photo is under wraps for now, R J Poole’s work can be viewed on the follow sites:



and Flickr:

Looking for America

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. He’s not the only local talent, Francis Cloake, Byron Bay has also been chosen as a finalist for one of her fabulous portraits

  2. Thank you to David Lowe and the Echo for supporting local artists and events. I’ve long been critical of the arts establishment in our region. Arts Northern Rivers and the Lismore Regional Gallery make little or no effort to identify or reach out to individual artists throughout our community. At the very least, they could offer acknowledgement and recognition for those members of the local community who are active in exhibiting, publishing, performing their work in locations around the globe or being honored by organisations outside of the Far North Coast who appreciate and encourage the talent that lives here. I know of many local artists who feel this way and have expressed their concerns to me, so I know I’m not alone in thinking this way. The arts establishment needs to be more proactive in initiating contact rather than expecting people to come to them.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Red Cross offers additional bushfire grants

Australian Red Cross is opening a final round of support grants for people affected by the bushfires who are suffering extreme financial hardship.

The return of the prodigal son

Gallery DownTown, the annexe of Tweed Regional Gallery, is presenting a new exhibition by regional artists.

Rotary Downunder Baton handed over at Byron Bay

The Rotary Club of Byron Bay recently took the Rotary Downunder Baton to the most easterly point of Australia as part of its national journey. As well as being the national celebration of one hundred years of service by Rotary in Australia, the theme for the centenary is 'Rotary says no to domestic violence'.

Interview with Jean Kittson

Comedian, writer, and social commentator Jean Kittson has the ability to distil complex ideas into commonsense. Jean is one of the national treasures in conversation with Mandy Nolan and Fiona O’Loughlin at No Eggs for Breakfast, a comedic chat themed around life beyond fertility! It seemed remiss not to ask Ms Kittson on her take on the debacle that is federal politics and gender equity.