Cocking vies for coveted Lester

Carly LadenBroome Advertiser
Josh Cocking (right) with Damien Smith.
Camera IconJosh Cocking (right) with Damien Smith. Credit: The West Australian, Alan Chau

A local artist has continued to wow critics after he was again nominated for Australia’s third-richest art prize.

Josh Cocking has been announced as one of the 40 finalists in the prestigious Lester Prize, formerly known as the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.

The award was renamed this year in honour of the award’s leading patron, Richard Lester AM.

Cocking’s nominated work, a self-portrait titled The Sum of All Things, explores contact with landscape and the relationship between culture and nature.

“For many, contact with the landscape is through a digital paradigm,” he said of his artwork.

“You could argue this allows access to a greater experience of the natural world, but you could also argue that it fosters a disconnect and a separation from our ecology.

“When culture and nature clash, it can be brutal, but within that brutality there can be beauty — I want my work to explore that dichotomy.”

Cocking is one of two artists from WA’s North West to be named as a finalist. The other is Doreen Chapman, who received the nod for her untitled work.

The pair join 13 other WA artists among the 40 finalists from across Australia.

The works will be on public display at the Art Gallery of WA in the Centenary Galleries, from November 9-December 9, with the winner announced on November 8.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails