Portrait Prize finalists
Two Canberra photographers are among the 40 finalists in the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 of 3113 entries. Wouter Van de Voorde’s Celia inside a watchtower and former Canberra Times photographer Jamila Toderas’s Black dog are in the running for the top prize: $30,000 in cash and $22,148 in photographic equipment. Toderas says she first met former Sex Party candidate Steven Bailey in 2016, when he posed with an enormous grin on his face while his female dog, Bruce, mimicked him. When she photographed him again in 2018 he had lost the election and his marriage had broken down. Their photographs will be displayed along with the other finalists in an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from February 23 to March 7, then the show will tour interstate regional galleries. nppp.portrait.gov.au.
Valentine’s dinner and concert
A curated night of feasting like the gods under a February moon including live performance, music, poetry and romance. The evening begins with a walk through the NGA exhibition Love and Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate, with curators present to talk about the work with the audience. Internationally acclaimed singer and host Mikelangelo will be joined by Anushka. Local sound artist Happy Axe will create sonic dreamscapes and Santa Fe-based singer-songwriter Wendy Rule will be joined by her band to showcase their Persephone songbook. February 15 at 6pm. See: tickets.nga.gov.au
Shakespeare Down the Pub
This is a free, one-night-only spin-off of Shakespeare by the Lakes II at the George Harcourt Inn on Thursday, February 13 at 6.30pm. This final rehearsal of Twelfth Night is intended to bring free Shakespeare to Belconnen and Gungahlin in an atmosphere as close as Canberra will get to how it was at the Globe Theatre 400 years ago. On February 15 and February 21-24 the main production will be presented in a variety of locations. See eventbrite.
Two mixed media shows
Bungendore Fine Art is presenting Gosia Orzechowska’s Leaf by Leaf, mixed media on canvas images of figurative and nature themes, and Jenny Leake’s Elementary Expression, in which her painting on mixed media creates colourful images. The exhibition runs for the month of February. bungendorefineart.com.au.
Ron Cerabona is an arts reporter for The Canberra Times.