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Emerging Artists Award: Smoko by Huon Kane

Smoko

Huon Kane

2023 Emerging Artists Award

Proudly supported by
Oxlades
About the artwork and sitter

Dan Allen and Ed Ross are co-founders of Trademutt, a social impact workwear brand. The two met on a worksite in 2014 and quickly bonded over their shared sense of humour.

They decided to found the company after Dan tragically lost a close friend to suicide in 2015.

Their products are designed to start conversations about mental health in an industry where this issue is ‘often treated as invisible.’ Each piece of workwear has a QR code that provides the phone number for a mental health councillor.

Profits from Trademutt help fund free mental health support services for blue collar workers.

To date, they have provided free counselling to over 4,369 workers.

About the artist

Huon is a Meanjin/Brisbane-based visual artist, working primarly with classical oil paints.

He enjoys painting diverse subjects with ‘stories that have important messages for Australian society.’

Judge's Notes

This work by Huon Kane is a remarkably well realised work, given the artist has only been painting for a couple of years. The story is a compelling one, and it is ambitious – dual portraits always are. Huon has managed to balance the visual elements in a way which shows the camaraderie and openness between the two subjects. His handling of the composition and the familiar interactions between the two figures is confident and assured.

Anna Reynolds
Board Chair
Brisbane Portrait Prize

“He enjoys painting diverse subjects with ‘stories that have important messages for Australian society.’"