Archibald entries not to miss
If you’re not sure where to start, Cribbs has some top picks of Archibald finalists:
Piccinini, the subject of Bieniek’s painting, is an acclaimed artist in her own right through her hyper-realistic sculptures of human-creature hybrids. But while Piccinini’s work’s are regularly life-size, Bieniek’s portrait of her is tiny.
“Natasha Bieniek’s portrait of Patricia Piccinini I think is an interesting counterpoint to the scale of [Blak] Douglas’s monumental painting. Her’s is only 18 centimetres across, so it’s much more of a scale that’s really intimate and kind of working to a smartphone kind of format.”
Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Laverty and her late husband Colin Laverty have amassed one of the most significant contemporary art collections in Australia, works from which are regularly leased to galleries for public exhibitions.
“Richard Lewer is one of my personal favourite artists, he's always got just such a funny and clever take on the universe. His painting of Liz Laverty – he’s painted her year on year and has said that he will continue to paint her until he wins.”
Courtney and Shane
In this portrait, artist Leutwyler has painted both sides of renowned Australian drag artist Shane Janek, best known as Courtney Act, who will also be coming to Bunjil Place as part of Melbourne Writers Festival.
“There’ll be an evening of talks and conversation between Kim and Courtney about that experience of being the artist and sitter.”
Rosary with the seagull
“Catherine is part of Studio Seven, which is an assisted studio for artists who have a disability,” Cribb says. The portrait is of fellow artist Rosie Deacon, who is known for using a lot of colours in her work.
“Catherine's work is just so incredibly vibrant and joyful, it’s impossible not to imagine what an exuberant personality that Rosie Deacon has.”
Referring to day 77 of lockdown, which happened to also be the artist’s birthday. The work, however, was painted for Dalton’s wife’s birthday, which fell on the opening date for the 2022 Archibald Prize in Sydney.
Cribb says the work touched on both the beautiful moments of lockdown which saw life slow down and families perhaps spend more time together, but also the “trauma that comes with that confinement.”
“It's a work that I think will stand the test of time. It's really a beautiful insight into that experience.”