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Newcastle artist Rachel Milne wins The Vincent Prize 2023


Newcastle artist Rachel Milne has won The Vincent Prize 2023. 

The talented fine art painter, who specialises in figurative and observational oil painting, was awarded the quirky bronze ear trophy for her piece entitled Shower

Now in its sixth year, the award is named in honour of world-renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh, a Dutch post-impressionist painter who famously cut off part of his own ear in a psychotic rage. 

Milne was awarded the prize at an event on 12 May at Sydney’s newest gallery Scratch Art Space in Marrickville. 

Her painting was described by artist and judge Ramesh Nithiyendran as “an easy choice”. 

“It’s brave, personal, sensitive, technical, free, tender, political, …all at the same time,” he said. 

‘Rachel Milne’s painting ‘Shower’.

Shower, says Milne, captures a moment in time. 

“There was a time when my husband would shower with my two sons and I’d wait just outside and watch,” she told the Newcastle Weekly

“I’d find myself looking at the scene as though it was a religious statue. 

“The way light played in the shower as the water fell down.” 

Milne admits she was so taken by the daily task that she tried on several occasions to capture the scene in photos. 

“I don’t normally paint from photos so I had to keep taking them until it was fresh, and I could paint it almost straight away,” she says. 

The result is an innocent depiction of a reoccurring moment of tenderness. 

Rachel Milne has won The Vincent Prize 2023

Originally from Cambridge in the United Kingdom, Milne moved to Newcastle in 2015 where she is now represented by the King Street Gallery on William, Sydney and the Sophie Gannon Gallery in Melbourne.  

She was awarded winner of the Singleton Portraiture Prize in 2013, she was a finalist in the Kilgour Prize at Newcastle Art Gallery in 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as the prestigious Wynne Prize in 2017 and 2018 at the Art Gallery of NSW.   

She is currently the artist in residence at Maitland Gaol

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