Mandorla National Art Award

Photo by Leanda Chia (for Mandorla)

Julian Poon, talented Year 10 student at John XXIII College, has won the Mandorla Youth Art Award with his stunning artwork My Beloved Son.

Julian's interpretation of the biennial Christian art award's theme, 'born of a woman', places Jesus in the centre of the canvas, wearing a crown of thorns on the cross bearing the title 'King of the Jews'.

He said, "Jesus' face has no features because I want the viewer to imagine the agony and suffering he went through because of his great love for mankind.

"Mary, Jesus' Mother, is shedding tears of great sorrow while looking on her suffering and dying son. Her dress is elaborately patterned because she is a special woman, favoured by God, to bear His son."

The other three onlookers are John, Jesus' beloved disciple; Mary Magdalene whom Jesus rescued from a life tormented by demons; and a man who represents the crowd at Jesus' crucifixion.

Julian demonstrated a depth of understanding of the theme "born of a woman" from St Paul's letter to the Galatians 4:4, which tells of God's intervention to redeem all humankind realised through the extraordinary relationship between God and a woman.

Judging the 16th Mandorla Art Award was a trio of highly esteemed judges - Drs Rod Pattenden, Rachael Kohn and Annette Pedersen - who said Julian's' work catches the eye and engages the viewer in a contemplation of one of the most profound moments in the Christian narrative. "The work shows integrity in both concept and in the execution of the design."

The emerging young artist prize winner takes home the substantial sum of $5,000 and his artwork becomes the property of St John of God Health Care, the major sponsor of the awards and the brainchild behind the youth award.

PR Manager, Fiona Clark, said, "A key area of focus of our community-based outreach services is building capacity among young people. The youth prize mirrors this by supporting young artists starting out on their careers.

"By encouraging them to consider contemporary Christian art as a viable genre, it will ensure the sustainability of the Mandorla by creating a stream of future entrants for the main award."

Julian enjoys art and is interested in reading and studying about great artists. His detailed line drawings with intricately patterned and layered surfaces reflect his exploration of Ancient Egyptian art, evident in his award winning work.

All 65 finalists will be exhibited at the Perth Town Hall from Saturday 11 August until Sunday 19 August 2012, from 10am to 4pm daily, after which Mandorla will tour a selection of these artworks at the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery when the People's Choice Prize will be announced.