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30 August 2019 / leggypeggy

Archibald Prize features Australian faces

Archibald winner, Lindy Lee by Tony Costa

Archibald winner, Lindy Lee by Tony Costa

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.

People's Choice Award, Tjuparntarri—women’s business, Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward by David Darcy

People’s Choice Award, Tjuparntarri—women’s business, Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward by David Darcy

Packing Room Prize, Through the looking glass, David Wenham by Tessa Mackay

Packing Room Prize, Through the looking glass, David Wenham by Tessa Mackay

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 businessHere’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.

Wynne Prize winner, Seven Sisters by Sylvia Ken

Wynne Prize winner, Seven Sisters by Sylvia Ken

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.

Ngayuku ngura (my country), landscape by Barbara Mbitjana Moore

Ngayuku ngura (my country), landscape by Barbara Mbitjana Moore


Leave a Comment
  1. beetleypete / Aug 30 2019 7:14 pm

    The painting of David Wenham is outstanding. The composition is so perfect, it looks like a photograph.
    Thanks, Peggy.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2019 10:16 pm

      The Packing Room Prize is announced first; soon after the exhibit is first hung. Everyone loved that painting, and most agree that it looks like a photograph.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. gigglingfattie / Aug 30 2019 9:04 pm

    I have to agree with beetleypete! I thought “through the looking glass” was a photograph! It’s so incredibly well done! I can’t believe that it’s a painting.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2019 10:17 pm

      Amazing how Tessa Mackay managed to capture the essence of a photograph. A truly unusual image.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gigglingfattie / Aug 30 2019 11:03 pm

        Her skills are beyond! I can see why she won!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Vicki / Aug 30 2019 9:25 pm

    Some marvellous portraits in this post, but I am a sucker for David Wenham – such a heartthrob :
    The reflections remind me of one of my own photos.

    Thanks for sharing Peggy.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2019 10:18 pm

      I think a lot of us are suckers for David Wenham. Would love to see that photo of yours. I probably have before, but it doesn’t come to mind.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Vicki / Sep 1 2019 10:13 pm

        Knowing my luck, that photo of mine is probably one of the ones I lost. Have been so preoccupied by other offline matters & health, I haven’t had a chance to get back to the photo filing. I certainly have noticed I have lost a lot of my favourites….almost to the extent of not posting any more Images from the Archives. Seems to be a lot of 2016 missing, that’s for sure.


      • leggypeggy / Sep 2 2019 7:25 am

        Oh dear, so sorry to hear that. Still worth looking when you have the chance.


  4. Yeah, Another Blogger / Aug 30 2019 10:12 pm

    I especially like the painting that won The People’s Choice prize. It’s powerful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 30 2019 10:20 pm

      I like your thinking. To be honest, my favourites are the People’s Choice and the Packing Room Prize.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. derrickjknight / Aug 31 2019 2:21 am

    Thank you for bringing these to one who won’t be able to visit. I’d go for The People’s Choice, too – the judges went for something less painful

    Liked by 2 people

  6. kkessler833 / Aug 31 2019 9:08 am

    Great show! Thanks!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Brian Lageose / Aug 31 2019 1:27 pm

    Thank you, once again, for sharing things that most of us would never get to see. You’re a peach! (Wait, I may be wrong, but I seem to recall that you may not care for that phrase. If so, please insert an admirable fruit of your own choosing…)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Brian Lageose / Aug 31 2019 1:29 pm

    Oops, almost forgot to mention the actual paintings. I think your two faves are my two faves, but the “Matt Tran” image by Jaylan Yang is stunning for someone in that age bracket…

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Aug 31 2019 6:20 pm

      Yes, Jaylan Yang’s work is amazing. I’m really glad I shared some of the Young Archies.


  9. Emma Cownie / Aug 31 2019 5:56 pm

    You have many excellent artists in that exhibition. I can see why Tjuparntarri—women’s business, Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward by David Darcy, won the people’s choice award. Its a very powerful painting. I like it a lot.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Sep 1 2019 2:28 am

    Outstanding art by outstanding artists. Wish I could see the whole show for myself.

    I hope people understand that the purpose of creating art, no matter the media or genre, is not to make it “look just like a photograph” but for the artist to capture the essence of the subject in a way that resonates with viewers. Otherwise, just take photos.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Lynette d'Arty-Cross / Sep 1 2019 5:05 am

    These works of art are stunning. Thanks for sharing them. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  12. chattykerry / Sep 1 2019 6:15 am

    They are all fantastically varied but I loved Daisy.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. thewonderer86 / Sep 1 2019 4:47 pm

    They are all terrific. Especially love the kid’s ones.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Gilda Baxter / Sep 1 2019 11:21 pm

    Wonderful that your daughter lives in Sydney, I bet you visit her regularly…such a great city to live. How many daughters do you have? I am glad you managed to catch this great art exhibition.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 2 2019 7:26 am

      We have two daughters—in Sydney and in Saigon—as well as 31 former exchange students. Gives us lots of places to go. 🙂


  15. Alison and Don / Sep 4 2019 2:53 pm

    Loved this Peggy, it brought me right back to Oz. I like all the paintings you’ve chosen here, and am totally blown away by those kids’ portraits – so much talent so young!

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 4 2019 7:03 pm

      Like you, I was super impressed by the kids’ work. Names to watch for in future.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. susan@onesmallwalk / Sep 5 2019 2:03 am

    LeggyPeggy – ahh, a post from home 🙂 It always amazes me when people can take photos of artwork that bring you right into the experience.Nicely done! – Susan

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 5 2019 7:49 am

      Thanks so much, Susan. We’ve just returned from Lake Eyre, so stay tuned for more glimpses of home.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Chris Riley / Sep 5 2019 9:15 am

    Fantastic portrait of Daisy. So much character in her face.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. jeanleesworld / Sep 5 2019 11:55 am

    So, so amazing. This world is full of such creative souls. Thank you for sharing, Peggy!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Sheryl / Sep 8 2019 8:41 am

    The art is outstanding. I loved all the pictures – though I think that my favorite is the one that received the packing room prize.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 8 2019 6:08 pm

      I like it too. Shows an amazing technique in painting.


  20. barkinginthedark / Sep 9 2019 5:41 pm

    all wonderful…Lindy Lee by Tony Costa and Jaylan Yang’s portrait of his friend move me. thanks for the terrific exhibit. continue…

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 9 2019 9:59 pm

      Yang’s work is especially moving. Imagine the talent in one so young. I’ll be watching him.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. kunstkitchen / Sep 10 2019 8:32 am

    Love the art work! Something new and something reminiscent of the past. Really a joy to see.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Sartenada / Sep 11 2019 5:48 pm

    They are awesome! I do love them, as I love many kinds of art. Thank You for this high-quality post.

    Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 3 people

  23. Forestwood / Sep 13 2019 6:55 pm

    Gosh aren’t they all so very good, Peggy! Women’s business and David Wenham are spellbinding. I am surprised you were allowed to photograph them, but I am very glad you did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 13 2019 7:02 pm

      Most Australian galleries now allow photography. Many galleries overseas do too. Just no flash.


  24. Carson Maitland - Smith / Sep 15 2019 8:15 pm

    Emma Wiggle’s birthday’s on the 21st 💛

    Liked by 2 people

  25. J.D. Riso / Sep 21 2019 1:18 am

    Wow, these are all incredible, but Through the Looking Glass is absolutely stellar.

    Liked by 3 people

  26. tony / Sep 23 2019 4:42 pm

    Nice review of the exhibition Peggy. I liked the packing room choice this year of David Wenham and the Tjuparntarri. I don’t often like the winner and believe the choice has always been conservative and biased towards established figures in the art world, which makes books of the winners seem to fluctuate madly between the sublime and the uninspiring.

    I haven’t seen the exhibition yet and may not. So many thanks!


    Liked by 4 people

    • leggypeggy / Sep 23 2019 6:58 pm

      Thanks Tony. I hope you can make it to the exhibit. Like you, I often prefer the pieces liked most by the packers and the public. This year my favourites are David Wenham and Tjuparntarri.


  27. theburningheart / Mar 1 2021 3:30 am

    You did a great job Peggy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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