The 2019 Ballarat International Foto Biennale Martin Kantor Portrait Prize is named in honour of the late portrait photographer Martin Kantor. The $15,000 prize is awarded for an exceptional photographic artwork of a significant, living Australian in the fields of art, letters, science, sport or politics. The three judges Max Delany, Pippa Milne and Susan van Wyk unanimously chose Penelope Hunt’s portrait of Alan Constable. Below is their collective statement:

“Alan Constable is a distinguished artist whose work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally. Penelope Hunt’s portrait gives a strong feeling for the very tactile nature of his ceramics sculptures and drawings. The portrait is an intimate, complex representation of the subject, and its unorthodox framing and composition aligns strongly with Alan Constable’s work. The relationship between viewing devices (cameras and binoculars) and sight is a recurrent theme in Alan Constable’s work and life experience. The return of the photographer’s (and by extension the viewer’s) gaze is also important, as is the awareness, participation (and possibly resistance) of the subject in this process. We were also pleased to learn Penelope Hunt has worked with Alan Constable for over a decade, and this relationship, intimacy and understanding is apparent in the work.”

The judges also gave a special mention to:
Mia Mala Macdonald for her portrait of Helen Garner
Rod McNicol for his portrait of Ron Merkel QC
Tobias Titz for his portrait of Michael Leunig

Supported by the Dara Foundation.