Finalists in the Maritime Art Prize – The Mission to Seafarers

Image above: Christine Wrest-Smith  Jars of glass  2023  oil on linen  76.5 x 76.5 cm

Congratulations to Sue Anderson, Dale Cox, Rodney Forbes, Rick Matear and Christine Wrest-Smith who have been selected as Finalists for the Maritime Art Prize 2023.

The Mission to Seafarers Maritime Art Prize is back for it’s 21st year, and invited artists to respond to the theme of The Relationship of Humanity to the Sea. Hosted at the heritage-listed Mission building in Docklands, Melbourne has gained international recognition as a prestigious competition and boasts a $25,000 prize pool.

Congratulations to Dale Cox who received the Runner-Up Award for his painting Take your medicine.


Dale Cox  Take your medicine  2023  acrylic on gold enamel on board framed  73 x 123 cm

Rodney Forbes  Burn Your Boats  2022  oil on canvas  61 x 40.5 cm

Rodney Forbes won the 2020 prize with his painting A Submariner Dreams of Home, and says the prize means a lot to him because the Mission to Seafarers ‘do great work with distressed seafarers far from home’.


Sue Anderson  Flying along to Popes Eye  2023  oil on linen  76 x 61 cm


Rick Matear  Ladder and Sea  2023  acrylic on canvas  116 x 92 cm


Maritime Art Prize 2023
717 Flinders Street
Docklands Victoria 3008

Exhibition Open:
Friday 20 – Thursday 26 October
12pm – 8pm Daily

Exhibition Opening Night:
Thursday 19 October, 6pm

Rodney Forbes – ‘Signs & Wonders’ at Glenn Green Galleries

Image above: Rodney Forbes  Return of the Moth Man  2021  oil on canvas  46 x 35 cm.

Rodney Forbes is showing a series of his works in the solo exhibition Signs & Wonders at Glenn Green Galleries in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“Rodney Forbes lives in Gippsland, the greenest part of Australia. It’s a place of primeval forests dominated by the majestic mountain ash tree, the largest flowering plant in the world, and home to koalas and lyrebirds.

“He grew up in the historic seaport of Williamstown, training as an electronics technician on ships, which left him with an enduring love of the sea. As a young man, he traveled overland from Australia via Kathmandu to Europe and his later research work in storytelling has led to visits to Sioux and Navajo communities as well as collaborative work with Australian Indigenous artists, academics and storytellers.

“Forbes’ paintings combine full-bore colour, intriguing spatial manipulations, humour, and insightful observation of everyday life. They employ surreal juxtapositions which invite the viewer to attach their own stories and to reexamine their own sense of wonder. His works reward those who live with them, unfolding new layers of meaning over time.

“His work is held in the collection of the Australian National Gallery, Canberra, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Artbank, Regional Galleries and numerous private collections in Australia and internationally. He is an Honorary Research Fellow at Federation University Australia and was previously the Director of Gippsland Centre for Art and Design and Switchback Gallery at Monash University. His work has been the subject of two major curated survey exhibitions and he has been the recipient of an Australia Council Arts and Crafts Board New Work Grant. He was the winner of the 2020 Australian Maritime Art Award.”


To read more about and view a selection of works by Rodney Forbes, click here.


Rodney Forbes: Signs & Wonders
Glenn Green Galleries
136 Tesuque Village Rd, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87506 US
27 July – 31 October 2022


Rodney Forbes  The war that never went away  2022  oil on canvas  35 x 71 cm.

Rodney Forbes  Night of the chook thief  2021  oil on canvas  50.5 x 50.5 cm.

Rodney Forbes  Camouflage  2021  oil on canvas  30.5 x 61 cm.

Rodney Forbes  Girl in a Tree With Lighthouse  2022  oil on canvas  40.5 x 40.5 cm.

Rodney Forbes & Christine Wrest-Smith – Finalists in the 2022 Galipolli Art Prize

Rodney Forbes  Able Seaman John Henry Jarrett, RAN  2022  oil on canvas, text panel  30 x 60 cm

Congratulations to Rodney Forbes and Christine Wrest-Smith, who have been selected as a finalists in the 2022 Gallipoli Art Prize.

The Gallipoli Art Prize is an annual acquisitive award administered by the Gallipoli Memorial Club. The Art Prize is awarded to the artist who best depicts the spirit of the Club’s creed: “there exists an obligation for all to preserve the special qualities of loyalty, respect, love of country, courage and comradeship which were personified by the heroes of the Gallipoli Campaign and bequeathed to all humanity as a foundation of perpetual peace and universal freedom.”

The winner of the $20,000 art prize will be announced on 20 April.

All works will then be on exhibition at Cleland Bond Store, 33 Playfair Street, The Rocks, NSW from 21 April – 8 May 2022.

For more information, and to view all 2022 finalists, click here.

Rodney Forbes 

‘John Henry (‘Jack’) Jarrett joined up at the outbreak of World War 2, aged 18. His ship, HMAS Perth fought with honours in the Mediterranean and the Far East before going down fighting, beside USS Houston, against a huge Japanese invasion fleet off Java.

Interned at Changi prison, Singapore, then brutally enslaved for years on the Thai-Burma ‘Death Railway’, he was transferred by ship, running the gauntlet of US submarine attacks, to Fukuoka, Japan. There he survived further slavery in a coal mine and intensive US bombing. At length freed,  he was trans shipped through the radio-active ruins of Nagasaki to Melbourne, where he recuperated and was demobbed, aged 25.

The loyalty, respect, love of country, courage, comradeship and sacrifice of the Thai-Burma Railway prisoners of war is legendary. Jack exemplified them as the unassuming and courteous man I remember for his sense of humour and generosity. He overcame massive trauma to live a useful and full life and to me, he was a model for the best a man could be.’ – Rodney Forbes, 2022

Christine Wrest-Smith

Christine Wrest-Smith  The Messenger  2022  oil on linen  112 x 112 cm


‘The Purple poppy was introduced some years ago, to signify the contribution of animals great and small during the Great wars.

It is a symbol of remembrance of the animals that number in their millions, whose sacrifices and deeds played such an important part during the conflicts. 16 million animals alone were used in WW1.

Horses, Camels, Donkeys and Mules were used in transport and carrying supplies as well as Medivac for the wounded. Dogs were trained for search and rescue, and used as ammunition guards and scouts for land mines. Cats and Dogs were used in trenches and on ships to protect food stores from vermin, Mice and Canaries for detecting poison gas.

A range of animals were present as pets and mascots, for much needed morale of their human comrades. The unconditional loyalty of a pet must have been an enormous comfort during the dreadful hardships of war.

Pigeons were imperative for communication during the war, as messengers. It is for this reason that I chose the pigeon in the form of a harbinger of peace as the subject of this work.’ – Christine Wrest-Smith, 2022