GALLERY: Dobell Prize gives artist 'shot in the arm'

IN DEEP: Artist Robert Berry with his Dobell Prize-winning work on Monday. Picture: David Stewart

IN DEEP: Artist Robert Berry with his Dobell Prize-winning work on Monday. Picture: David Stewart

UP close, it looks like a photograph offering a glimpse into a lakeside ecosystem.

So real is its 3D effect that the viewer is tempted to reach in and hold open the reeds to get a better look.

But it is, in fact, the painting Boomanjin Reeds by Central Coast artist Robert Berry.

The painting won Mr Berry the Dobell Prize for best overall exhibit at the Dobell Arts and Crafts Festival at Rathmines at the weekend.

"This is a real shot in the arm," Mr Berry said.

"I certainly didn't expect to win."

The painting depicts a location near Fraser Island, in Queensland, where Mr Berry has a property.

"I just liked the reeds and to look through them," he said.

"I paint it as I feel it."

The painting is oil on linen, and the textural surface refracts the light in a way that seems to enhance the depth of the image.

Mr Berry said winning a prize that bears the Dobell name was an honour.

"I knew his work as a student, and I went to his gallery [at Wangi Wangi] on Saturday to have a look. One or two of the paintings I remembered as being typical of Dobell," he said.

A tertiary-trained professional artist and former art lecturer in Victoria, Mr Berry now works out of a home studio in Dooralong.

"I intend to keep painting and finding subjects," he said.

Boomanjin Reeds is for sale at $2500.

The story GALLERY: Dobell Prize gives artist 'shot in the arm' first appeared on Lakes Mail.

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