Thousands vote for maternal portrait in Napier Waller Art Prize
The Australian War Memorial is delighted to announce that retired Major, Mrs Anneke Jamieson, has won the 2022 Napier Waller Art Prize People’s Choice with a record breaking number of public votes for her portrait, The Promotion.
The Promotion, an acrylic and oil on canvas featuring a servicewoman in uniform breastfeeding her baby, also scooped the 2022 Napier Waller Art Prize in June 2022.
Mrs Jamieson, a mother of three, took inspiration from her own experiences when creating the work.
“I dedicate her to the mothers who serve; to their sacrifices and conflicted hearts and to the families who support them,” Mrs Jamieson said in her artist statement.
The work was a clear winner with 2254 people voting from more than 7,300 votes cast.
Mrs Jamieson will receive a $5000 cash prize and the portrait will be added into the Memorial’s National Collection.
“When I painted this piece I wanted military mothers, and working mothers in general, to see her and feel seen themselves. To allow themselves a moment to acknowledge all those conflicting feelings their professional success has on being present for the baby in their arms. To acknowledge, accept, forgive themselves and feel grateful," Mrs Jamieson said.
"Winning the People’s Choice Award means that she - the woman in my artwork - is doing exactly what I hoped she would. I am honoured beyond words."
The Napier Waller Art Prize is open to all current and former service personnel in the Australian Defence Force.
“This portrait has inspired thousands of people to vote, from within the Defence community but also people interested in art and Anneke Jamieson’s story of service and family,” Australian War Memorial Director, Matt Anderson, said.
“We are honoured to provide this opportunity for those who have served, and those still serving, to share their stories through art.
“Through her portrait, Anneke has also shed a new light on working mums, both within Defence and across the community. If it made people think, then she was already a winner.”
Head of Art at the Australian War Memorial, Laura Webster, said: “This is the first time the People’s Choice Award has aligned with the judge’s unanimous decision.
“This work really stood out to people amid the diverse and extremely high standard shortlisted works. They show a broad range of artistic talent with a variety of mediums represented.
“People clearly were moved by this story of women and mothers in the Australian Defence Force.”
The Prize and exhibition is held biannually with the next iteration in 2024.
The Napier Waller Art Prize is sponsored by The Hospital Research Foundation Group, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Thales Australia.
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