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Geraldine Bolton, Boy MonkTitle
Boy Monk

Location
In storage

Media
Painting

Medium
Oil and acrylic

Credit
Co-winner Calleen Award 1981

Accession number
CAL1981-2

Excerpt from The Calleen Collection by Peter Haynes (2019)

Clem Millward the judge for the 1981 Prize split the award that year. Geraldine Belton, the co-winner was born in Sydney in 1954 and was known primarily as a printmaker. She is recorded as living in Craige in the exhibition brochure. I found no reference to Craige but there is a suburb of Perth named Craigie and perhaps that is where the artist lived when she entered the Prize? Again, there is little published material on this artist.

Her work, Boy Monk, steps outside the majority landscape paintings with its subject matter of the young Buddhist monk. The boy is the central image. He sits in contemplative pose head resting on hand, eyes cast downward, deep in thought. Like O’Brien’s work the picture plane is divided into a number of geometric shapes. These are tonally light and their pastel shades again present a series of layered veil-like forms that divide the deep space of the composition and seem to float around the central figure. The abstract forms sit in sharp contrast to the realistically portrayed monk. The saffron yellow of his habit, the black of his eyes and head are also dramatically contrasted with the soft blue and grey hues of the forms that surround him. There is a stillness in this work that sits nicely with its meditative quality.