South Canterbury artist finalist in the prestigious art award

Joan Pullan, of Timaru, is one of 45 finalists in the biennial Adams Portraiture Awards for her portrait of a Christchurch man.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Joan Pullan, of Timaru, is one of 45 finalists in the biennial Adams Portraiture Awards for her portrait of a Christchurch man.

When Joan Pullan met Tope Oluboyede his story had such an impact on her, she painted his portrait.

Now, that oil painting on canvas, by the South Canterbury woman has been selected by the National Portrait Gallery in Wellington as a finalist list for the Adam Portraiture Award – the only finalist from the region this year.

Pullan who has called Timaru home for the past seven years, she was “very excited and very humbled” to make this year’s finalist list, one of 45 finalists chosen.

“I was very excited to be informed, I am also excited to head to Wellington for the exhibition,” she said.

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A copy of Pullan's portrait of Tope Oluboyed.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

A copy of Pullan’s portrait of Tope Oluboyed.

Pullan met Oluboyede, of Christchurch, through a friend.

“I have done a lot of traveling over the years and I love drawing the different places and people I see and meet,” she said.

Joan Pullan at work in her Timaru home.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Joan Pullan at work in her Timaru home.

“I like to photograph what I want to paint and from there I can take my time.

“I never rush, I always take my time.”

Pullan said when she meets Oluboyede, his character and story made an impact on her, and she wanted to paint his portrait.

“I always believe that a portrait is like putting down a story on canvas, and when you look at the portrait it is almost as if you are sitting there and having a conversation with the person,” she said.

Joan Pullan is currently working on pastals artwork.

JOHN BISSET/Stuff

Joan Pullan is currently working on pastals artwork.

While she would love to win the top prize, and is excited about the upcoming exhibition in Wellington at the end of May, Pullan said she already has next year’s portrait idea sorted.

“If I don’t do well this time then I will just try again this year,” she said.

Pullan said the reason she loves portraits was they pose a challenge in replicating the movement, and this is why she never rushes and takes her time as she wants to bring the viewer into the moment.

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