Skip to content Skip to footer

Next Gen Award: Paul Croker: A Timelsss Devotee by Hayden Pressley

Paul Croker: A Timeless Devotee

Hayden Pressley

2023 Next Gen Prize

Proudly supported by
About the work

This intense and finely worked small portrait is an accomplished work in which the artist honours Paul Crocker, a man who spent his life as a surveyor, working along the east coast of Australia, including Brisbane.

Crocker spent time around Alice Springs on his late wife’s country, and this is where the artist came in contact with him. They spent time together when Hayden was on a camp, talking around a campfire. The campfire glow is evident on the finely painted face in this work. Paul told Hayden the stories about how his late wife and their family regained her custodial land.
Hayden says of the work, “This portrait painting captures Paul’s tough yet devoted life, where we get to witness Paul enjoying sitting around the campfire on his family’s custodian land: a testimony to his and his family’s hard work.

Judge's Notes

“Hayden Pressley is a repeat entrant in the Next Gen art prize, over the years he has shown both an accomplishment of skills and a dedication to his practice. It is very rare that you can see such talent and persistence in such a young artist. Here Pressley has made considered and sophisticated stylistic choices to capture the experience and aesthetics of storytelling over a campfire—his gestural brushstrokes capture a warm glow that foregrounds the dark backdrop, while the close cropped composition sets an intimate scene. It is clear that Hayden is going to proceed in his practice to forge a strong career as an artist.”

Jenna Baldock
Next Gen Judge