"Lithgow Wetlands" by Blackheath artist Robert Malherbe wins NSW Parliament "en plein air" painting prize

PRIDE OF PLACE IN PARLIAMENT: "Lithgow Wetlands" by Robert Malherbe is now part of NSW Parliament's permanent art collection. PHOTO: Supplied.

PRIDE OF PLACE IN PARLIAMENT: "Lithgow Wetlands" by Robert Malherbe is now part of NSW Parliament's permanent art collection. PHOTO: Supplied.

The Lake Pillans wetlands are now immortalised in Macquarie Street, after Blackheath artist Robert Malherbe’s painting of the location won the 2016 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize this week.

PRIZE WINNER: Blackheath artist Robert Malherbe has taken out the 2016 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. PHOTO: Supplied (taken by Ona Janzen).

PRIZE WINNER: Blackheath artist Robert Malherbe has taken out the 2016 NSW Parliament Plein Air Painting Prize. PHOTO: Supplied (taken by Ona Janzen).

Mr Malherbe came to Australia as a young boy from Mauritius, and now lives in the Mountains with his partner, Dana Rayson.

He’s been a finalist in the Plein Air Painting Prize a number of times, but it’s his impression of our wetlands that has got him over the line.

Mr Malherbe said he and his partner have found a number of inspiring subjects in recent trips to town.

“I was looking at the Blast Furnace as a potential subject and then I noticed the wetlands, the sunlight around there and the tranquility,” he said.

“The fact that it’s this piece of nature surrounded by industry… I just thought ‘this is absolutely beautiful.’”

Mr Malherbe takes home $20,000 in prize money for his efforts and the bragging rights for creating a piece of Lithgow history.

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