‘Sunflowers’ reinterpreted by young artists

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Winning entry by Pei Fu Zhao

RESULTS are in from the competition run by the National Gallery of Australia for school-age artists to rethink Vincent van Gogh’s famous “Sunflowers” painting, on show as part of the “Botticelli to Van Gogh: Masterpieces from the National Gallery, London” now showing at the gallery.

After 1014 entries arrived from across the country, six works of art were chosen, by Pei Fu, 10 (NSW), Emily, 13 (ACT), Kirana, 13 (ACT), Mae, 6 (NSW), Marc, 6 (VIC), Saretta, 14 (NSW).

The winner, Pei Fu Zhao, who winds a trip to the NGA to see “Sunflowers” in real life, says, “This version of ‘Sunflowers’ was inspired by my own flair of art… For my background, I painted circles which represent suns, that either have a different colour or a different shade of the colour used. The wonder about this painting is the contrast I made with the black and white sunflowers surrounded by all the colours that van Gogh used for his artwork for the background.”

Emilly Wang and Kirana De Schutter with their paintings

Two of the six artists are Canberrans — Emilly Wang, 13, from Palmerston, Kirana De Schutter, also 13, from Weston, whose works will now be displayed in the Canberra Centre.

Emilly’s acrylic painting, “Van Gogh’s Hat of Sunflowers,” was inspired by van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” and his” Self Portrait with a Straw Hat.”

“The use of colour in his paintings was also important and this was an element I wanted to bring into mine, with the complementary colours of yellow and blue,” she said.

Kirana said, “The first time I saw ‘Sunflowers’ in an image at school, I instantly saw the strange colouration of the pollen in a flower on the right of the canvas and so in my painting (made with oil paints) I decided to bring that strange blue element into the spotlight and made the stems and leaves that blue colour.”

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Helen Musa
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