Popped down to Sydney for a couple of days to check out the Archibald and Wynne Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW. I just love doing that and even better if there is a bit of controversy as there was this year when living artistic legend, John Olsen criticised the judges choice of Mitch Cairns painting of his wife, Agatha Gothe-Snape.
Actually, I love the work – the flat surfaces, the pattern and the Matisse-like face with it’s green nose. Many thought that Andrew Lloyd Greensmith should have won with ‘The inner stillness of Eileen Kramer’ and it certainly is a beautiful, sensitive painting. I also love Yvette Coppersmith’s ‘Professor Gillian Triggs’ and Anh Doh’s huge ‘JC’. Lucy Culliton is a favourite artist and her ‘Finished Packing’ portrait of Steve, the head packer is generously painted and has a sense of humour about it – makes me smile.
The Wynne Prize is really my favourite of the two prizes and I simply loved the room of Aboriginal works – huge and mesmerising. I preferred some of the others to the winner, especially Wawiriya Burton’s colourful work. Nicholas Harding’s work thickly covered in paint is superb as is Joshua Yeldham’s and Fiona Lowry’s entries.
It was great to see so many schoolchildren discussing the work with each other and their teachers as well as viewing the ‘Young Archies’!