women and art
It could be said that the Prize doesn’t favour female artists, with women only winning the Archibald 8 times since it’s inception in 1921 (though there has been the odd year when the award has not been given). Please can we avoid the “there aren’t many good women artists” ‘debate’ on this one. Barton is the 4th woman to win the prize in the past 30 years, well since there has been a nod towards gender equality in this country.
The award winning portrait is of a domestic nature, not just of the painter with her children but the acknowledgement in its title that they are what makes her who she is. Her artistic style steers away from classical painting and drawing, breaking the mold a little.
Personally, from what I can see of the portrait (a miniature computer image is usually a poor representation of the original) there is much to admire. Congratulations to Barton and what a fitting accomplishment for International Women’s Day.
One thing about this year’s finalist baffled me. The entry criterion states the portrait to be “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics” and past years have tended to not include an unknown subject. As beautiful as Zai Kuang’s piece is, just what is Celia and Julie’s claim to fame?
The sisters - Celia and Julia