Canberra artist Narelle Zeller’s portrait of her husband Sam and her dog Boo, finalist for WA’s first portrait prize, The Lester Prize | Canberra weather

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It’s the Zoom era of clothing – pajamas on the bottom, business suit on the top. A sort of sartorial equivalent of the mule – business in the front, party in the back. Canberra artist Narelle Zeller captured this hell between work and home in a portrait of her husband Sam dressed ready for his Zoom reunion in a business shirt and tie, but with pajamas down and a dressing gown on on top until you press the launch button. (A fabulously comfy hat just to top off the WFH vibe.) Ms. Zeller’s incredibly realistic oil painting, which features their dog Boo, struck a chord, selected as one of 40 finalists for the premiere. WA Portrait Prize, The Lester Prize. The portrait is titled Brave New Worker. “The inspiration for this piece came on a winter morning when I saw my husband Sam standing by the window light,” she said. “Looking up upward with his shaggy hair and growing freely, he stood erect and comfy in his pajamas and dressing gown, but ready for that inevitable Zoom reunion. Adoring the abundance of companionship, our dog Boo s’ sits next to him. “It’s a 2020 Portrait of working from home during pandemic containment. It’s about finding and embracing the positive aspects that imposed change can bring under difficult circumstances. “It’s about enjoying the little things, spending more time with the family and above all an ode to everyday pajamas.” The painting has already been presented at the Biennial International Portrait Competition of the Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art in the United States, where it received an honorable mention. The 2020 work is still relevant today, as much of Australia in 2021 is stranded again. Ms. Zeller is a contemporary realist oil painter who lives in Holt. Her husband Sam works for the ACT government. They both worked from home during this lockdown. Their 15-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, a saleswoman, are also confined to the house. Ms Zeller said she doesn’t mind the world seeing her in her pajama / workwear ensemble. “He loves it,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of homework and just trying to look on the bright side, having more time at home together as a family.” Ms. Zeller’s oil paintings “explore the beauty of the human condition and our environment, drawing inspiration from those around her and her own personal life experience.” His work is incredibly detailed. “A painting can take several months. Sam’s took about four months,” she said. “I work full time as an artist and a lot of hours every day and it’s pretty slow but I love it.” The works of the 40 finalists for the Lester Prize will be on display to the public at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from October 16 to November 29. The main winner will be announced on October 15 and the selected artist will receive $ 50,000. Over 750 applications were received from across Australia. “It’s huge, it’s very exciting,” Ms. Zeller said of her selection. “I was a finalist a few years ago and was able to attend the event which was amazing. You can’t ask for a better venue and they put on a really good event for the artists, it’s a shame that I won ‘not be able to make it this year. ”To see all the finalists go to Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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