Warwick artists Malcolm and Kerry Nicholson at work on their award-winning piece at the Mural Fest in Sheffield, Tasmania.
Warwick artists Malcolm and Kerry Nicholson at work on their award-winning piece at the Mural Fest in Sheffield, Tasmania. International Mural Fest

Warwick artists earn top award

TWO brothers from Warwick have won the people’s choice award at one of the most prestigious mural-painting competitions in the world.

Kerry and Malcolm Nicholson were invited to attend the 2009 International Mural Fest, held in Sheffield, Tasmania, and discovered on Saturday night they had won the people’s choice award.

Artists were given something for inspiration, in their case a four-line poem, which they had to then convert into a 2.1 x 4.8 metre mural.

To make things even trickier, competitors had just one week to create their masterpieces – with a huge crowd watching on at all times.

The Nicholson brothers were unlucky not to win any of the awards announced immediately after the completion of last year’s event, but in the 12 months between each festival, visitors to the nine murals in Sheffield have the opportunity to vote for their favourite.

At the end of the following year’s competition the votes are tallied with the winner receiving the people’s choice award.

“We are the first Queenslanders to win the people’s choice award,” Malcolm said.

Kerry and Malcolm have been painting together for most of their lives and said winning the award had made them keen to return to the festival next year.

Kerry said being brothers had helped them during the competition because he could tell Malcolm to “get out of the way” if they crowded each other while creating their masterpiece.

“We’ve been doing it for years, we work really well together,” he said.

“A lot of the teams have problems with stepping on each others toes; we know each other so well that it’s easy to tell (Malcolm) to get out of the way.”

However, working together was not the only challenge the brothers faced.

“During the week a huge storm came through and blew sawdust all over the fresh paint on the mural,” Malcolm said.

Kerry and Malcolm’s mural was based on the poem Fire and Life, written by Sheffield resident Cindy Bennett.



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