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-- 07 May, 2005 --

Art exhibition warm up

Flower study
lead pencil and coloured pencil on 150gsm A5 sketch paper

It is time for the latest Archibald Prize Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. There are only two disabled car parking spaces in front of the gallery so it is important that we get there early. This gives us the opportunity to have breakfast in the cafe across the road - the Pavilion on the Park.

While we were waiting for a scrummy breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon on whole grain toast with orange juice and coffee, I draw this flower that was in the garden near our table. I haven't a clue about flowers so I don't know what it is but it was sort of bacon and eggs coloured.

I can't say that I agree with the judges' choice of winner of the Archibald Prize. I don't think that self-portraits are fair as one of the competition rules is that there has to be a certain amount of live sittings for the portrait and the subject has to be prominent in the field of arts, letters, science or politics. Self-portrait means that the artist didn't have to approach someone famous to sit for them. This year's winner doesn't even look much like anyone at all, let alone the subject. Wouldn't have been my choice.

As a footnote, I find it interesting that the promotional material for this year's Archie's features, not the winning entry, but the painting that the judges felt should be highly commended. Interesting!

Posted by robynls at May 7, 2005 3:41 PM

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I heard on the radio that Olsen had been involved in a student protest against the Achibald back in the 1950's, wondering what the protest was about I found this link: http://www.artistsfootsteps.com/html/Dargie_essingtonlewis.htm
- the protest among other things, seems to have been based around ".. a total lack of vision and support for contemporary ideas" now it seems to have come full circle and we want less contemporary and more realism in our Archie.

Posted by: Erica at May 7, 2005 7:51 PM

Hi Robyn,
A few years ago I did a portrait painting course with ...someone?? Anyway, his paintings had been hung in the Archibald a few times and he was telling us that the Archibald, although called a portrait painting competition, is actually judged for the painting - not the portrait aspect of it. I think he said (hoping my memory is right) that portrait artists look to the Portia Geech (spelling?) Portrait Prize as a judging of portrait painting. When I heard this explanation it kind of explained to my mind why such different paintings often win the Archibald...Maybe...??
I do agree with you about the winning painting this year.

Posted by: Jill Campbell at May 7, 2005 11:08 PM

The gallery's own blurb says "J.F. Archibald's primary aims were to foster portraiture, support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians." I may be an old fuddy duddy, but to me portraiture at least means that when I look at a picture, I will recognise the subject. If it tells me something about the them as well then that's a bonus. As usual, the trustees have managed to arouse public disagreement.

Posted by: Robyn [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 7, 2005 11:45 PM

I'd like to see the winner, couldn't find it on the page as I needed a name for the search.

Posted by: Bonnie at May 8, 2005 12:21 AM

Oh and I liked your sketch. Mine all looks like what I call 'refrigerator art'. (childish)

Posted by: Bonnie at May 8, 2005 12:22 AM

My two cents worth, this year's winner is unmitigated crap - yes I acknowledge Olsen is a great Australian artist, but this entry is just crap. Re: the Portia Geach prize, this comp is only open to women, the better prize for mainstream portraiture is probably the Moran prize. Go see the Salon des refuse exhibtion at Ervin (sp?) Gallery for the "rejects", much better than the overblown Archibald....better still go see the Bald Archies or the Botanical Art exhibition at the Botanical Gardens. Now that that is off my chest, nice drawing Robyn. I will now slink back to the drawing table....lol.

Posted by: Detlef at May 8, 2005 10:39 AM

Hi robyn...my two cents worth...I really disliked this winning submission, I much preferrred the one of alexander downer...I thought that was more the business in this art genre.

Posted by: krissie at May 9, 2005 2:17 PM

G'day Robyn,
Great to read your interesting page full of vibrant comments from other artists & art lovers. I'm an artist / writer , originally from adelaide , & I've submitted works to "The Archibald Prize" on numerous occasions , but I don't waste my time & money anymore , as I believe that the judging system is not far from warranting a royal commission , regarding selection of works hung & winners. I wouldn't be surprised also if there was also some bartering involved in the whole process , but haven't said anything before because it attracts the "sour grapes" syndrome. This is not only my opinion , as I spent 5 years in Broken Hill , & all of the top artists I knew there were of the same opinion.
Anyway , Robyn , can you please send me a contact e-mail adress for "Tthe Bald Archies", I think the contact person is Peter Blately.(with this competition, there does appear to be "light at the end of the tunnel..)
Best regards,Victor Maloney / Cobar / N.S.W.

Posted by: Mr. Victor Maloney at August 21, 2006 2:30 PM

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