BUDDING young artist Angus Thorley has won the people’s choice award in the annual Who’s who portrait prize run by Geelong Gallery.
His pencil drawing of Willem Baa Niip (King Billy) proved the most popular with the voting public.
The humble Grade 6 pupil from Lisieux Catholic Primary School said he was surprised and over the moon to win the people’s choice section considering how high the standard was.
“I feel really surprised because out of all of the drawings I didn’t think I would win the people’s choice,” he said.
Angus said he enjoyed drawing characters and his favourite thing was using shading and detail in his artworks.
The 11-year-old is a member of Torquay Art Hub and said the portrait took two hours to complete during a hub lesson.
Angus, who is Social Justice Captain at his school, drew the portrait of Willem Baa Niip after seeing him featured on a mural in Denny’s Place in central Geelong.
“King Billy is believed to be the last of the local Wathaurong (1836–1885)… but I don’t think people know enough about him,” Angus wrote in an artist’s statement submitted with his entry.
“During his life he fought for his right to live on the land of his people, the Wadawurrung.”
Angus said he inherited his artistic talents from his mum, Christina, and they often did drawings together and visited art galleries.
The Who’s who portrait prize honours Jules Francois Archibald, after whom the Art Gallery of New South Wales’ famous portrait prize is named, and his connection to Geelong as his birthplace.
This year’s competition attracted a diverse array of submissions from students across the region and winners were awarded across age categories. To view the winning artworks, head to geelonggallery.org.au/whats-on