AWARDS TO ARTISTS Winners Of Claude Hotchin Prizes (By C.G.) Yesterday afternoon at the Claude Hotchin Galleries a panel of judges chose the win- ning pictures in oils and water colours for the Hotchin Prize for 1949. In the oil section Rolf Harris, one of our young artists, won by a narrow mar- gin with a brilliant study of light, "On a May Morning, Guildford." The prize in the water colour section was won by George C. Benson. The winning oil picture brings the artist a prize of £50, and the water colour one of £25, the gift of Mr. Claude Hotchin. A slight decrease in the number of entries was due to the with- drawal of some painters whose
work last year was not good enough to merit serious considera- tion. Not only was the general level higher than in previous ex- hibitions, but the pictorial quality and technical standard of the work showed progress. Several of our leading artists have not been long enough in the State to comply with the rules, but there was so much fine work shown that the judges were faced with a difficult task. CAREFUL STUDY. After a preliminary reduction of numbers, the remaining pic- tures received exhaustive con- sideration and careful scrutiny. Rolf Harris's picture exemplified the enthusiasm of youth bril- liantly overcoming difficulties which might have daunted artists of more experience. An impres- sion of light and atmospheric quality, it produces in the be- holder a lively and emotional re- sponse. The main feature was empha- sised to the exclusion of others which might have been thought important by painters with more experience. The picture is signi- ficant of what this artist may pro- duce rather than of what he has already achieved, and this suc- cess should encourage him to mastery of the principles and methods of painting through in- tense and determined study. The water colour section was a triumph for experi- ence, for George C. Benson has been a painter for two generations, and has to his credit many notable achievements. His simple little scene, "At Roleystone," is a masterpiece of direct handling, delicate. tone variation, and simple, unaffected use of a narrow range of colour. Behind it all lies the mind and vision of the artist who has looked long, pondered carefully, and expressed himself with con- viction and certainty. Such a pic- ture contains much hidden merit as well as visible excellence. The prizes will be presented in the Hotchin Galleries by the Pre mier (Mr. Ross McLarty) at 2.30 p.m. on Monday.