Vote for Matt, Vote for Richard – our staff on exhibit at Brisbane Portrait Prize

29 September 2020

Julia Cornes
Julia Cornes
Communications Officer

Our Brisbane Design and Creative Tech staff are in the running for the annual prestigious Brisbane Portrait Prize, with a massive 766 entries received this year. Check out Communication Design Lecturer Matt Epple’s wonderful self-portrait and Success Coach Richard Whitaker‘s exquisite photo of his son Willem. They’re among the final 71 selected to exhibit.

Vote for Matt, Vote for Richard – our staff on exhibit at Brisbane Portrait Prize.
Vote for Matt, Vote for Richard – our staff on exhibit at Brisbane Portrait Prize.

Matt Epple’s ‘It’s all happening at once’, (left) and Richard Whitfield’s ‘Willem’.

“I have been reflecting on how one day feels almost identical to the day before, everything feels like it’s just happening at the same time,” says Matt of the portrait which is several versions of himself layered.

“I had a dream one night and I woke up and remembered it, I had been in a room with three other versions of myself all talking like radios, playing over the top of each other. I was the fourth one in that room, and just observing it thinking ‘wow it’s all happening at the same time’.”

Richard’s work was commissioned by his son who is building a career in theatre and film. It’s a homage to a Maxell cassette tape commercial from the 1980’s.

When the pair were asked to comment on the old adage ‘those who do, do – and those who can’t teach’ they both politely called BS. Richard has always worked for himself as a photographer and counts himself incredibly lucky to have travelled the world and met some amazing people. Taking photos keeps him relevant to industry and “actually feeds into your kind of relationships with students, how you advise them and how you stay excited about what they do as well.”

Matt agrees that his art is essential to his teaching role, “it’s a part of who you are, it’s in your DNA to create things, it’s a beautiful thing to be able to use your creativity outside of work.”

Running a workshop recently Richard was reminded that his number one gallop strength is learner. “The best way to actually learn something is to teach it, because you don’t really deeply understand it until you can explain it to someone else.”

The works which needed to be connected to ‘Brisbane’ will be exhibited at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 30 September to 1 November. There’s some decent prize money up for grabs and all finalists are eligible for the $7,500 Courier-Mail People’s Choice Award – so vote for Richard, vote for Matt, Richard or Matt flip a coin! Voting closes Tuesday October 27. Watch our fun interview here and watch them fight, lovingly, for your vote.

If you’re reflecting on where you can take your own passions, and want to explore more, visit our film and video or photography and photo imaging course pages to find out more.