Time for a quick detour to Australia and the wonderful Archibald exhibit. The Archibald prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. These days it is accompanied by the Wynne and Sulman prizes.
I felt the need to tuck in this post because the exhibit—on display at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney—ends in about a week on 8 September.
Don’t worry. It’s a travelling exhibit. Over the next few months, it will be displayed in Victoria and various locations around New South Wales. Here’s a link to the schedule.
The prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW and awarded to the best portrait painting. The portraits are a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes and artists.
One of our daughters lives in Sydney and we visited the exhibit between our travels in West Africa and Vietnam.
The winning artist receives $100,000 from the ANZ Bank. This year’s winner and subject were Tony Costa and his portrait of Lindy Lee, Australian artist and Zen Buddhist. It’s titled Lindy Lee.
Just recently the People’s Choice Award was announced. It’s a magnificent portrait of Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward, an elder from the Warakurna and Ngaanyatjarra in Western Australia. It was painted by David Darcy and is titled Tjuparntarri—women’s business. Here’s more about Daisy and the award.
There’s also a Packing Room Prize, selected by the people who unpack and hang the exhibit. This year that went to Tessa Mackay and her portrait of Aussie actor and heartthrob, David Wenham. The painting is titled Through the looking glass.
Other portraits that caught my eye were Jude Rae’s portrait of stage actress, Sarah Peirse; Adam Norton’s portrait of artist, David Griggs, who was also a finalist in this Archibald Prize; and Loribelle Spirovski’s portrait of singer, songwriter and musician, Meg Washington and her son and dog, Amos and Art.
There’s also the Young Archibalds for children aged 5 to 15. There are three age divisions. My favourites were Jayden Hong’s (aged 5–8) portrait of his dad, Hana Lee’s (aged 5–8) portrait of someone (maybe himself) on the playground, and Jaylan Yang’s (aged 9–12) portrait of his friend Matt Tran.
And on to the Wynne Prize. It’s awarded for a landscape and was won by Sylvia Ken. Her painting, Seven Sisters, reminded me of the National Museum of Australia’s exhibit I wrote about a few years back. That entire exhibit told the traditional story of the Seven Sisters. You can read about it here.
I also liked the landscape Ngayuku ngura by Barbara Mbitjana Moore, whose work is inspired by wildflowers.
I’m ashamed to admit that I didn’t get any photos from the Sulman Prize. Maybe next year. In the meantime, here’s an overview of the winner and finalists.
I keep forgetting to mention my cooking blog. Here’s a simple recipe that I make often.