RED Hill artist Jennifer Riddle has that enviable skill of being able to capture the idiosyncrasies of each landscape, whether it’s the iconic rolling green scenes of the peninsula, or the ethereal but majestic vistas of Tasmania.
Riddle, who has just been awarded the prestigious 2022 Glover Prize for landscape art, aims and succeeds to encapsulate the strength and vulnerability of the natural world in her work, and hopes people can “feel the spirit” of the environment when they view her work.
Her winning Glover Prize entry, entitled ‘Wanderings of the Past and Now’, is a realistic and at the same time surreal and misty depiction of the beautiful Tasmanian landscape around Port Davey.
“The magic of painting is that there are a lot of emotions that go into it that are beyond the pigment,” she said.
“I hope my works are a bridge that allows people to rekindle something that’s innate within all of us – a love of nature and its soulfulness.
“I hope that the response people get when they see my work is that they feel they can walk into it.”
Riddle said it was a “complete honour” to be awarded the prize after entering on 10 previous occasions, being awarded people’s choice twice, and being a finalist five times.
She is also only the third woman to win the prize, which was started in 2004 ago by Tasmanian artist John Glover.
“I am incredibly proud to be the third woman to win, and to have the recognition of my fellow artists and the highly respected judges,” she said.
Riddle’s painting is a way of expressing her love of the world around her, but has also been a cathartic experience to help her deal with the pain of losing her sister Andrea, who died at 22, and of dealing with the consequences of man’s sometimes harsh interaction with nature.
“When Andrea was sick I used to come to the hills of Red Hill to reflect and take in the beauty,” she said.
“She and I always stalked about moving to the country and getting back to painting, so it was largely her encouragement that saw me do that.
“I love nature and that is the driving force of my work, trying to represent that deep feeling of awe I get from seeing what’s around me”.
Riddle’s Tasmanian landscapes have for years focussed on the region around Port Davey, which is a rugged, pristine, remote landscape that captivated her instantly on a visit seven years ago. She has since painted that particular landscape about 70 times.
Riddle has won $50,000 and a bronze maquette of John Glover.