Belynda Henry and Thornton Walker – The King’s School Art Prize

In News September 3, 2020

Image above: Belynda Henry  Long distance (Mulloon Creek)  Oil and wax on canvas  112 x 167 cm

Congratulations to Belynda Henry and Thornton Walker who have been selected as finalists in this year’s King’s School Art Prize.

Now in its 26th year, The King’s School Art Prize has been awarded to some of Australia’s leading contemporary artists. The $20,000 acquisitive award is presented to the artist judged the best contemporary artwork, created by an artist resident in Australia. Entry is by invitation only, and the finalists are selected by an appointed Art Prize panel.

The winner of the prize will be announced virtually on Friday September 11. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions this year’s finalist exhibition is not going ahead, however appointments can be made for a private viewing of the exhibition.

Click here to view the full list of finalists.


Belynda Henry

Belynda has been painting landscapes for over 20 years. Exhibiting continuously with over 30 solo shows to her name. Living at the end of a long lush valley on the Central Coast, New South Wales, which she drives through daily, she is constantly and automatically gathering views, flashes of moments and imagery. Photographing the landscape and making small sketches are also part of her daily practice. Forever seeking out new images, compositions  and colours to use in new works.

I don’t attempt to paint a clear representation of landscapes but take the essential parts of it that move me. I reassemble the memories much like a mosaic work into a simplified interpretation of the beauty that surrounds and profoundly affects me. “Long distance “was painted en plein air on a wonderful property I visited earlier this year, and then like many of my other large-scale works completed back in the studio.

It has been said that you can see the artist in their works – and of course that goes for all painters however landscape painters don’t only form impressions of the worlds around them – but also use the medium to counter or enhance their internal landscape – that may be a mix of fears, dreams, hopes and loves.

So, the viewer may interpret a pop colourful landscape yet the artist may be going through their own personal tempest. After all, it was Picasso who famously said, “Art is the only lie that tells the truth.” – Belynda Henry, 2020.

'Full moon over the great ocean road', '20, oil on panel, 47x40cm-min

Image above: Thornton Walker  Full moon over the Great Ocean Road  oil on canvas  47 x 40 cm


Thornton Walker

Thornton was born in Auckland, New Zealand and emigrated to Melbourne, Australia in 1965. He graduated with a Diploma of Art (Printmaking) from the Prahran College of Advanced Education, and began a Post Graduate Diploma (Printmaking) at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. His first solo exhibition was held in Melbourne in 1980. He has continued to exhibit nationally ever since.

The sea and rolling hills looking south-west from Fairhaven towards Lorne. The hills are dissected diagonally by the Great Ocean Road, as if a ruler was used to gouge a line across the scene. Winter storms roll in from the south, taking out all the colour and the hills disappear into the sleet and sea mist. Then the sun catches the breaking waves, turning them to molten silver. In summer, the view can glow in the late afternoon, when the wind has dropped and the sets of waves unfold in straight perspective lines, then in the early morning, the full moon, descending west, highlights the waves and white sand like a floodlight, before disappearing over the hills.” – Thornton Walker, 2020