Last Friday, I was invited to attend the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize winners announcement at the Art Gallery of NSW on Friday 11th May. While there has been a great deal of controversy around the Archibald prize in the past, I find the Archibald a refreshing event where Australian artists showcase their best work to win the best portrait award and the grand prize money of $100,000. I really enjoyed looking at the different portraits varying from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.
Bringing kids to art galleries is always a gamble (I have done the hard yards and still do!) but done right when kids are not grumpy or hungry, it can be a worthy experience for them to see inspiring works. For this exhibition, the Art Gallery of NSW has taken extra care to include kid specific write-ups that explain the artwork and they question kids on their interest in the piece but also questions them about art in general. For example in the piece below by Noel Thurgate, the little note for kids had the following writing 'What is your favourite way of making art?' 'Noel Thurgate likes to use collage and assemblage to make art. In this portrait of artist Elizabeth Cummings, he uses a combination of paint, found objects, cut wood and even real bottles to depict Elizabeth's art studio. ..' It invites children to find things in paintings which they could possibly miss.
The Archibald prize brings so much variety it makes this exhibition very interesting and varied which is perfect to keep the kids keen throughout the whole visit. Here's some of our favourites.
And of course, we were all looking forward to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes winners' announcements on the day with Yvette Coppersmith taking the grand prize for the Archibald for her painting titled Self-portrait, after George Lambert.
Winners of the Wynne prize included Wawiriya Burton for her painting titled Ngayuku ngura (my country) which won her the Roberts Family Prize 2018, Yukultji Napangati for her painting titled Untitled which won her the Wynne Prize 2018 and Phillip Edwards for his painting titled Glory be, water tree which won him the Trustees' Watercolour Prize 2018.
And last but not least, Kaylene Whiskey took home the Sir John Sulman Prize 2018 for her painting Kaylene TV and Jamie Preisz took home the Packing Room Prize 2018 for his piece of Jimmy Barnes titled Jimmy (title fight).
Other paintings which caught my eye was Yurpiya Lionel's Anumara, Paul Ryan's Kembla, Mount Kembla and Hiromi Tango's Red moon (which I must say is very selfie friendly ha!)
Sally Ross and The Huxleys were quite intriguing on the day of the announcement showing their piece Sally Ross: The Huxleys.
What impressed me the most was the artwork of the Young Archie finalists which can be found on the outside wall of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibition.
The sixth Young Archie competition attracted more than 1400 entries: 34% in the 5-8 year category, 38% in 9-12 year, 20% in 13-15 year and 8% in 16-18 year. Of the total, 72% were from girls. The five finalists from each age category are displayed at the Art Gallery of NSW and the honourable mentions at the SH Ervin Gallery. Here's some of our favourite pieces. Young Archie winners will be announced in July this year.
From the Category 5-8 years old, Daniel Brough: My daddy when he was 17 years old and Maya Butler de Castro: Self-portrait with animals - both 7 years old.
And Esther Kim: My little sister Rachel - aged 8.
Other artworks which were quite inspiring where from the 13-15 year olds category and featured artwork from Oliver Freeman: The legendary Tina Bursill at the age of 13 years which I found so detailed as well as artwork from Violet Watts: Immersed, aged 15.
And my favourite of the Young Archie by far is by Hayley Steel: Sempre in the 16-18 year olds category - just stunning! Hayley is 17 years old.
Attending the media preview of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW this year was a great experience and I highly recommend the exhibition whether you would like to take the kids or wonder solo or make it a dinner date with your partner or a friend.
Busy City Kids were invited to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes media announcements for the purposes of a review. All opinions & feedback are genuine & truthful. Travel and fee paying activities were self funded.