John Leslie Art Prize

2016 Winners Announced

Melbourne-based artist Amelda Read-Forsythe has been announced as the winner of the John Leslie Art Prize 2016 at the Gippsland Art Gallery. The announcement was made by Ms Harriet Shing MLC (Eastern Victoria) at the official gala opening on Friday 2 September 2016.

Read-Forsythe’s painting Under the Storm is a whimsical and playful depiction of a bush beneath gathering storm clouds. The work pays tribute to the wonder of nature, revealing the quiet rhythm and motion of a strange landscape, and gives a subtle nod to the idealized landscape painting traditions of the 17th century.

The winning work was selected by three judges: Melinda Martin, Director of Linden New Art (Melbourne); Marielle Soni, Director of Alcaston Gallery (Melbourne); and Shannon Smiley, artist and immediate past winner of the John Leslie Art Prize.

The judges agreed that Under the Storm was ‘a confident and powerful painting’ that ‘emerges more and more as you look at it’. They praised they seductive and evocative surface of the painting, and suggested that the work describes internal human turmoil as well as natural turmoil.

Read-Forsythe has been painting and exhibiting for over twenty years, and has a longstanding interest in environmental themes. This is the first major art award she has won, having previously been selected for the City of Albany Art Prize and the Tattersalls Landscape Art Prize.

Fish Creek-based artist Linda Gibbs was awarded Best Gippsland Work, for her painting Tidal River. This work depicts a dreamy and atmospheric scene at Wilson’s Promontory in South Gippsland. The judges agreed that the work ‘connects with its subject on an emotional level, and reveals a sense of the artist being in tune with the environment’.

Showcasing the best of contemporary landscape painting, the $20,000 non-acquisitive award and biennial exhibition features works by Tanya Baily, Claire Bridge, Tim Bučković, Kevin Chin, Jason Cordero, Gabrielle Courtenay, Peter Daverington, Jeremy Elkington, Josh Foley, Betra Fraval, Gavin Fry, Oscar Garcia, Linda Gibbs, Stephen Haley, Nicholas Harding, Adrian Headland, Sarah Hendy, Nigel Hewitt, Sophia Hewson, Justin Holt, Alan Jones, Linda Joy, Gina Kalabishis, Richard Knafelc, Richard Maude, Andrew Mezei, Viv Miller, Saffron Newey, Grant Nimmo, Adam Nudelman, Allyson Parsons, Amelda Read-Forsythe, Victoria Reichelt, Mark Rodda, Phil Ryan, Ken Smith, Adriane Strampp, A.J. Taylor, Ross Taylor, Leah Thiessen, Sarah Tomasetti, Brett Weir, Anita West, Naomi White, Kim Wilson, Alice Wormald, and Chee Yong.

Catalogue John Leslie Art Prize 2016 (1MB)



Amelda Read-Forsythe
Under the Storm
Oil on wood, 60 x 91cm
WINNER John Leslie Art Prize 2016


First Prize

$20,000 (Non-acquisitive)


Best Gippsland Work

$1,000 (Non-acquisitive)


2016 Judging Panel

Marielle Soni, Director, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne
Melinda Martin
, Director, Linden New Art, Melbourne
Shannon Smiley
, Artist, winner John Leslie Art Prize 2014


The Prize is made possible by the generous ongoing support of Gippsland Art Gallery’s long time Patron, John Leslie O.B.E.


Past Winners 
2016 Amelda Read-Smith
2014 Shannon Smiley
2012  Tony Lloyd
2010  Jason Cordero 
2008  Andrew Mezei 
2006  Brigid Cole-Adams 
2004  Mark McCarthy 
2002  Vera Möller
2000  David Keeling 


Was this page useful?

Please enter the code from the image to continue: * Required