We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Highly commended

John R Walker The Darling at Kalyanka

archival oil on polyester

178 x 186 cm

The Darling at Kalyanka derives from a trip we made out to Wilcannia last year. I was really struck by how deep a trench the Darling River forms at that location. There is something about a river, which is sometimes so big and powerful that it can carve such a deep-sided trench, and yet is often close to empty – as it was when we visited. It is that sense of extravagance: bare, eroded and very steep banks that never support plant growth because they are either under flood or too dry, that was the genesis of this painting.

- John R Walker, 2014