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The Archibald Prize

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The Art Gallery of New South Wales

  Archibald Prize 2012 Packing Room Prize Winner

Raelene Sharp for her portrait of John Wood

Raelene Sharp A strength of character Archibald Prize 2012 Packing Room Prize winner

Melbourne artist Raelene Sharp has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2012 Archibald Prize for her portrait of actor John Wood.

John Wood is one of Australia’s favourite actors with a career spanning over 40 years. He starred in Network Seven’s Blue Heelers for eight years, winning a Gold Logie in 2006 after being nominated ten times in a row. He has also won several Silver Logies for his work in Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules and Power without Glory.

Sharp visited Wood in his home where she sketched him as they talked and got to know each other. “His dogs kept jumping into his lap so it wasn’t easy,” she says. Wood then did several sittings in Sharp’s (dog-free) studio.

Sharp decided to focus on Wood’s very recognisable, well-known face. “I did a few studies of him to find the right look in order to represent his personality. We have now become quite good friends.”

Born in Melbourne in 1957, Sharp began her career as a graphic artist. She now concentrates on portraiture, although she also paints in other genres. She has received many corporate and university portrait commissions. She is a five-time finalist in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, winning in 2006. She has also been a finalist in the James Farrell Self Portrait Award and the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture among others, and has been hung in Melbourne’s Hidden Faces of the Archibald Prize – the Victorian equivalent of the Salon des Refuses. She is part of Fusion6, which has had two successful portrait exhibitions in recent years. This is her first time in the Archibald Prize.

The Packing Room Prize gives the gallery staff who receive the entries for the Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman Steve Peter’s 29th Archibald and the 21st Packing Room Prize.

Raelene receives $1,000 and a $500 ANZ debit card.

People’s Choice 2012

Jenny Sages wins 2012 Archibald People's Choice

Jenny Sages with her self portrait After Jack. Photo credit: Bruce Inglis

Thursday 17 May 2012

Sydney artist Jenny Sages has won the 2012 Archibald People’s Choice Prize for her self-portrait, After Jack.

Jenny has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize twenty times and highly commended eight times. Jenny was a finalist in last year’s Archibald Prize with a portrait she painted of her beloved husband Jack in the last year of his life, titled My Jack.

‘Jack’s portrait was very personal and meaningful and I was so deeply in my grief that the idea of painting another portrait seemed trivial. A painting for me is a circle not closed until somebody sees the work, carrying their own baggage, thereby sharing my grief. I lost my husband Jack having shared 55 years together – he was my rock. Anything else I would paint for the Archibald seemed trivial to me, hence my self-portrait called after Jack. I am overwhelmed and moved for this recognition.’ – Jenny Sages

Jenny Sages receives $2500 and a $1000 ANZ Visa Debit Card.

Each year a voter for the Archibald painting that receives the most votes is selected to win a prize – this year, $2500 plus a $1000 ANZ Visa Debit Card and one night’s accommodation at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth.

This year’s lucky voter is Ms Robyn Killin McAuliffe, from Brisbane.

‘Why I and my son Dominic (there was no dispute) chose Jenny’s beautiful work After Jack: It was the emotional connection that transcended mere illustration and skill, and made me immediately drawn to this beautiful portrait. It speaks of quietly contained, but deeply felt profound loss and grief. While it is clearly her grief – she looks down, unaware of any of us looking at her – it also makes a very personal connection – with the loss that all of us has felt, or will feel at some time.

‘I love this work; Jenny has used no “bells and whistles” or intellectual cleverness to draw attention. It is the profound human connection that makes this such a special portrait for me.’ – Robyn Killin McAuliffe

Born in Shanghai of Russian parentage, Sages came to Australia in 1948. She studied at East Sydney Technical College and the Franklin School of Art in New York. After freelancing as an illustrator for 30 years, she has painted full-time since 1985. She has been highly commended in the Archibald Prize eight times, most recently in 2006 for her portrait of artist Hossein Valamanesh. She won the Wynne Prize in 2005 and is represented in this year’s Wynne Prize. She also won the Portia Geach Memorial Award for portraiture in 1992 and 1994. Her work is represented in numerous public and private collections, including the Art Gallery of NSW and the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

Archibald Prize 2011 Packing room prize winner

Vincent Fantauzzo for his portrait of Matt Moran

Vincent Fantauzzo Matt Moran Archibald Prize 2011 Packing room prize winner

Melbourne artist Vincent Fantauzzo has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2011 Archibald Prize for his portrait of celebrity chef, Matt Moran.

Matt Moran is now a household name from his appearances on television cooking shows including MasterChef, The Chopping Block and My Restaurant Rules. Moran and his business partner Peter Sullivan own two of Australia’s premier restaurants: ARIA in Sydney and in Brisbane. He is also the author of two cookbooks.

“Matt is one of my best friends. I’ve known him for years,” says Fantauzzo.

Fantauzzo experimented with numerous different poses before settling on this one. “Some of them looked a bit sinister with the knife and meat.”

Fantauzzo chose to surround Moran with meat. “He grew up on a dairy farm, he has a lamb business and he’s very into fresh produce and meat. It’s a bit intense, I suppose, if you’re a vegetarian.”

Born in England in 1977, Fantauzzo came to Australia as a child. He has a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) and a Master of Fine Art from RMIT University, Melbourne. He was GQ’s Artist of the Year in 2009 and Cultural Ambassador for the 2011 Melbourne Fashion Festival. He has had solo exhibitions in New York, Hong Kong, India and Vietnam and currently has an exhibition called Light and Dark at the Western Australian Museum.

Vincent Fantauzzo won the People’s Choice Award in both 2008 and 2009 for portraits of actor Heath Ledger and child actor Brandon Walters, who played the young Aboriginal boy Nullah in Baz Luhrmann’s film Australia. His portrait of Ledger was also Highly Commended by the judges.

The Packing Room Prize gives the gallery staff who receive the entries for Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman Steve Peters’ 27th Archibald and 20th Packing Room Prize.

Vincent receives $1,000 and a $500 ANZ debit card.

Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced today.

This year, the 90th year of Archibald, there were 798 entries for Archibald, 810 for the Wynne and 633 entries for the Sulman. The Archibald and Wynne prizes are judged by the Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. The judge for the Sulman Prize was Richard Bell.

The Archibald winner receives $50,000, the Wynne Prize winner receives $25,000 for landscape painting or figure sculpture, the Sulman Prize winner receives $20,000 for subject/genre painting and/or mural work and the Watercolour Prize (part of the Wynne Prize) winner receives $2,000.

Richard Goodwin Co-isolated slave, Wynne Prize winner 2011; Peter Smeeth The artist’s fate, Sulman Prize winner 2011

2010 Packing Room Prize

Sydney artist Nafisa has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2010 Archibald Prize for her portrait of Glenn A Baker, rock historian and travel writer.

Three-time holder of the BBC’s Rock Brain of the Universe title, Glenn A Baker is renowned for his encyclopaedic knowledge of rock music. He has written books and magazine articles on the topic, interviewed celebrities, managed bands and promoted tours of international rock stars. He is also a widely read, award-winning travel writer.

‘I met Glenn A Baker some years ago through the work I do for Jeans 4 Genes, the fundraising arm of the Children's Medical Research Institute,’ says Nafisa. ‘Each year he helps secure celebrity jeans, which are then painted by selected artists and auctioned at a charity function. We share a mutual love for travel and adventure, and I was intrigued by his boundless energy, enthusiasm and knowledge about all things to do with rock music.’

The size of the portrait reflects Baker’s larger-than-life, larrikin personality, depicting him sporting his signature hat and infectious smile. ‘Like his celebrity status, which may create a false distance between the subject and their audience, the sheer scale of the work forces you to view it from a distance,’ says Nafisa. ‘Yet the detail infers a more intimate knowledge and invites you to take a closer inspection, which reveals creative scrapings done with a razor blade.’

Born in Mumbai, India, Nafisa is a full-time artist living in Sydney. She has exhibited work in over 100 group shows and won over 50 awards and commendations including the First Prize (Gold Medal) at the 2007 Florence Biennale. She has been a finalist the Dobell Prize for Drawing, the Blake Prize for Religious Art and in numerous portrait prizes including the Portia Geach Memorial Award. She won the 2008 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.

The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff who receive the entries for Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman Steve Peters’ 26th Archibald Prize and his 19th Packing Room Prize.

Nafisa receives $500 and a $500 ANZ Visa debit card.

This year there were 798 Archibald entries, 810 Wynne entries and 633 Sulman entries.

2010 People's Choice Award

Sydney artist Craig Ruddy has won the 2010 Archibald People’s Choice Prize for his portrait of writer/director Warwick Thornton.

In 2004 Craig Ruddy was awarded both the Archibald Prize and the People’s Choice for Sydney and Melbourne exhibitions for his popular but contentious portrait of actor David Gulpilil.

This year his subject is Aboriginal writer/director Warwick Thornton. Thornton won the Camera d’Or for Best Feature Film at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for Samson & Delilah. The movie – which was his first feature film – has since won six AFI Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, along with numerous other prizes.

Ruddy was inspired and motivated by Thornton’s raw, honest filmmaking after seeing Samson & Delilah. ‘Warwick’s strong social consciousness drives him to fearlessly tackle society’s darkest issues head on,’ he says. ‘In a dignified and sensitive manner he carries us deep into the belly of darkness yet holds up a lantern that leads us through to the light. His film gives a voice to a lost generation who find themselves at the end of a long dark tunnel.’

The portrait title refers to Thornton’s nickname – given him as he often films using as few lights as possible.

Born in Sydney in 1968, Ruddy studied design and fashion illustration and worked as a commercial art director before his true passion for drawing and painting emerged in 2001. He now lives and works in Sydney, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. He has had four solo exhibitions in Sydney and one in London and has been represented in various group shows. This is his third time in the Archibald Prize.

Craig Ruddy receives $2,500 and a $1,000 ANZ Visa Debit Card for winning the People’s Choice.

Each year a voter for the Archibald painting which receives the most voters is selected to win $2,500 and a $1,000 ANZ Visa Debit Card and 2 nights accommodation at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The lucky winner is Susan Bond from NSW who voted for Craig Ruddy’s painting of Warwick Thornton.

This is the 22nd year of the People’s Choice Prize, 23,376 people voted this year. Apple Yin’s portrait of Terry English was the second most popular painting.

2010 Wynne Prize & Sulman Prize

Imants Tillers wins this year’s Wynne Prize for Waterfall (after Williams).
Nigel Milsom wins this year’s Sulman Prize for Judo House pt 4 (Golden mud).
Susan J White wins this year’s Watercolour Prize for Salamander Bay.

Left: Imants Tillers Waterfall (after Williams), Wynne Prize 2012 winner
Right: Nigel Milsom Judo House pt 4 (Golden mud), Sulman Prize 2012 winner


The Packing Room Prize 2005 

 Sydney artist Jason Benjamin has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2005 Archibald Prize for his portrait of actor Bill Hunter called Staring down the past. 

Staring down the past, portrait of Bill Hunter by Jason Benjamin
Jason Benjamin, Staring down the past
180x240cm oil on linen
Image Art Gallery of New South Wales

 Jason Benjamin is a great admirer of Bill Hunter. His portrait of the actor came about almost by accident. Benjamin was a finalist in last year's Archibald Prize with a portrait of revered Australian painter John Olsen. Everything I do tends to contrast with what I last did so I was looking for quite a different subject.

 I approached a young female singer and then several other women but when schedules didn’t work out I was going to abandon the idea of painting a portrait for this year's Archibald. It was a discussion with an actor friend of Benjamin's which led him to Bill Hunter. 

 In painting Hunter's portrait, Benjamin set about exploring the thoughts currently consuming him rather than trying to produce what he calls 'a tawdry this-is-your-life portrait'. He sees the portrait as fitting into his current body of work and building on previous portraits he has painted of Olsen, actor David Field and artist Tim Storrier. 

 Benjamin visited Hunter on his remote property in country Victoria, sat and talked with him, took photographs of him, and like a lot of men Benjamin respects realised Bill Hunter was not easy to get to know, that is, past his larrikin exterior. Benjamin says I then like getting out of the way of the subject, shedding ideas and then head towards something wholly intuitive. Capturing a little piece of someone requires both the artist and subject letting their guard down. 

 Bill Hunter is one of the great stalwarts of Australian film and television since the 1970s. His many credits include Newsfront, Gallipoli, Strictly Ballroom, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding and Tom White. Recently, he was the voice of the dentist in Finding Nemo. 

 The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff who receive the entries and install the exhibition the chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. 

 This is the Gallery's head storeman, Steve Peters, 21st Archibald Prize. He has seen it all and maintains that he can select a winner in 30 seconds and this picture was a definite winner said Steve Peters. 

 This is the 14th Packing Room Prize. Last year's winner was Evert Ploeg for his portrait of Jana Wendt. Jason Benjamin receives $500. 

 Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Citigroup Private Bank Australian Photographic Portrait Prizes 

 The list of finalists selected for all four prizes was announced today. This year Archibald received 852 entries, Wynne 750, Sulman 623 and APPP 644. Please click HERE to view the list.


On view: Saturday 30 April to Sunday 3 July 2005 
Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Art Gallery Road 
The Domain, Sydney 

Telephone: (02) 9225 1744 or 
recorded information (02) 9225 1790 
National toll free 1800 679 278 

Hours: 7 days a week 10am to 5pm 
(closed Easter Friday and Christmas Day) 
open until 9pm on Wednesdays 

Admission: $8 / $6 concession/members 



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