Meekathara artist Leon Pericles nominated for 2021 West Australian of the Year awards

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Leon Pericles.
Camera IconLeon Pericles. Credit: David Dare Parker

A Murchison-born artist has been honoured as one of the State’s best, being nominated for a prestigious award recognising great contributions to WA.

Artist Leon Pericles was announced as a nominee for the 2021 Western Australian of the Year Awards on Monday in the arts and culture category.

West Australian of the Year finalists at Kings Park: Leon Pericles.
Camera IconWest Australian of the Year finalists at Kings Park: Leon Pericles. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

He was honoured among 37 West Australians who have made an extraordinary impact in a range of fields over the past two years.

The painter and printmaker has held more than 150 exhibitions and won national and international acclaim over a career spanning more than 50 years, showing in both the National and State Galleries of Australia.

Pericles spent his formative years in Meekatharra and was largely inspired by his love for the Australian outback and his imaginary town of Widji, whose inhabitants have featured in performance exhibitions.

The awards consist of seven categories, with the winner of each category to be announced at a gala dinner on June 4 to start the WA Day long weekend, and the overall winner to be selected from the category winners at the end of the evening.

The calibre of finalists has lifted even higher this year after the cancellation of the awards in 2020.

Nominations from 2020 were carried over to 2021, ensuring the current crop of finalists represent the pinnacle of achievements in WA.

Storm in a Teacup by Leon Pericles.
Camera IconStorm in a Teacup by Leon Pericles. Credit: Supplied

Previous Western Australian of the Year Awards recipients include some of WA’s best-known and most highly respected people, including Andrew Forrest, Dr Robert Isaacs, Professor Fiona Stanley, and Adam Gilchrist.

Celebrate WA chairman Michael Anghie said after the forced hiatus of 2020, the announcement of the 2021 finalists allowed all West Australians to recognise those who had done extraordinary work and made outstanding contributions to our State.

“Selecting just thirty-seven finalists was especially difficult this year, given the extraordinary pool of nominees from the past two years,” she said.

“The depth and breadth of talent in Western Australia never ceases to amaze me, and I look forward to the finalists getting the recognition they so richly deserve for their work.

“Regardless of their chosen field, each finalist has made a truly meaningful difference, and a positive impact on the lives of others.”

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