AWASH with colour and staggeringly detailed, it's easy to see why this painting has captured the attention of the local community.
The piece, titled sapling, was created by artist Del Kathryn Barton and is on display at the Rockhampton Art Gallery as part of the prestigious Gold Award exhibition. The gallery's trust hopes to make Rockhampton the painting's permanent home.
An overwhelming response from the public has prompted the trust to launch a fundraising campaign to buy the $54,000 work, to add to their $14 million collection.
The same public appeal helped the gallery secure Ben Quilty's Evo project: Sheepwash Road in 2012.
Quilty's highly textured painting of a ruddy cheeked council worker struck such a chord with the community that $20,000 was raised in less than six months.
"Without the generous support of the community we
could not have achieved this wonderful outcome for the city," trust chairwoman Merilyn Luck said.
"The trust believes Del Kathryn Barton's sapling to be an equally worthy acquisition with visitors to the gallery having already formed an intense bond with the arresting artwork."
One of Australia's leading figurative painters, Ms Barton is a two-time winner of the Archibald Prize for portraiture (2008 and 2013).
The Friends of Rockhampton Art Gallery has kicked off the appeal with a generous donation but a further $22,000 is required to complete the acquisition.
Donations of all sizes are welcome and offerings over $2 are tax-deductible.
The work is on display until August 31.
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