July 10 - 16, 2016: Issue 271

Archibald, Wynne And Sulman Prizes 2016 Finalists Announced: + Young Archie 2016 Finalists And Honourable Mentions!

Young Archie 2016 Finalist: 13-15 year olds - Abbey Vella - Age 13

This is my little sister Felisha, who is a bubbly five year old. She always knows just how to make me laugh, and brings happiness to me every day. I have shown her fun, bubbly personality by drawing her pulling a silly face since she chose not to smile. She really is the happiest little girl I know, and a lovely little sister.

Photos of Young Archie Finalists and Honourable Mentions artworks by  AGNSW  Photographers, Felicity Jenkins, Mim Stirling and Nick Kreisler.

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2016 Finalists announced: Young Archie Finalists and Honourable Mentions

One for our inspired and inspiring up and coming young Artists. 

In April 2013 the Art Gallery of New South Wales announced the 2013 Young Archie competition for children to coincide with the most popular and prestigious art prize in Australia, The Archibald Prize.

Children between the ages of 5 and 18 were invited to submit a portrait of – as it stated in the rules – 'a person who is special to you – someone who is known to you and plays a significant role in your life’.

That inaugural Young Archie competition had 460 entries. This year there were 2249 entries with half of these Young Archie entries from the 5-8 year old category.  

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are major art awards run by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. All three awards are open competitions, meaning anyone who has been resident in Australia or New Zealand in the previous 12 months can enter.

The prize was established from a bequest by Jules Francois Archibald, the founding editor of The Bulletin magazine. Mr. Archibald was a passionate supporter of a distinctly Australian style of nationalism, journalism and the arts. In establishing the prize his aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. J.F. Archibald died in 1919 at St Vincent’s Hospital in Darlinghurst, with the first Archibald Prize being staged two years after his death.

According to Archibald’s will – held in the Art Gallery of NSW archive – the Archibald Prize is to be awarded annually to the best portrait “preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia”. Portraits must have been painted in the previous year from at least one live sitting with the artist.

The annual exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW – widely referred to as “the Archibald Prize” – is a joint show of all finalists in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes. Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW judge the Archibald and Wynne Prizes, and invite an artist to judge the Sulman Prize. This year’s Sulman Prize judge is contemporary Australian artist Judy Watson.

The 2016 finalists in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were announced on Thursday July 7th and will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW from 16 July to 9 October. Finalists in the Archibald Prize will then tour regionally until August 2017.

Young Archie competition

This is the fourth year the family-friendly Young Archie competition has run alongside the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes. The Young Archie is a celebration of young Australian talent - inviting artists between the ages of 5 and 18 to submit a portrait ‘of someone who is special to them and plays a significant role in their life.’

There are four age categories in the Young Archie competition:

  • 5-8 year olds
  • 9-12 year olds
  • 13-15 year olds
  • 16-18 year olds

The 2016 Young Archie competition was judged by artist Del Kathryn Barton, Archibald Prize winner in 2008 and 2013, and Victoria Collings, the Gallery’s senior coordinator of education and family programs, based on merit and originality.

Five finalists from each category will be exhibited at the Gallery and on the Gallery website. One winner will be chosen in each category and announced on the 17th of September. Each finalist will receive an art pack and Archibald 16 catalogue. Each winner will receive a cash prize of $100 from ANZ, an art hamper, a family pass to a paid exhibition at the Gallery and an Archibald 16 catalogue.

Artworks that received an honourable mention are displayed on the Gallery website and at the SH Ervin Gallery in the Rocks alongside the Salon des Refusés.

The Young Archie finalists were announced on 7July 2016 and we run some of these below. You can have a look at all of them on the webpage the Art Gallery of New South Wales has set up for this - here's some great works here: 

Young Archie 2016 finalists and honourable mentions  

In 2016 the Young Archie category received the most entries of all!

2016 Figures for Archibald, Wynne and Sulman

Archibald Prize entries: 830 – 51 finalists This is almost twice as many entries as last year.

Wynne Prize entries: 710 – 34 finalists

Sulman Prize entries: 533 – 25 finalists

The Young Archie competition has: 2249 entries – almost twice as many as last year. 

This year there are 24 first time Archibald Prize finalists and a staggering 25 of those who sat for portraits are artists themselves. New South Wales is home to 27 of the finalists, Victoria 18 while Queensland, Tasmania and South Australia may boast 2 each among Archibald finalists for 2016. Artist Lucy Culliton has hit the trifecta as a finalist for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes this year.

One of our favourites was Tasmanian Artist Michael McWilliams, ‘The usurpers (self-portrait)’ - acrylic on linen, which the Artist spoke about on 936 ABC Hobart after the finalists announcement.

"I'd been wanting to do a painting with introduced species and I couldn't quite work out how to do it and using a portrait was, I decided, the way for me because I wanted to include a man or person in it," Mr. McWilliams said "Most of the animals I've included are introduced and some have gone on to be pests, like the cane toad and the rabbit, and some have gone feral," he said. "You've got plants in there like blackberries ... an endless number really, I think I've managed to squeeze in 30-odd [pests]."

Archibald Prize finalist Michael McWilliams 'The usurpers' (self-portrait) acrylic on linen, 200 x 160 cm © the artist Photo: AGNSW, Nick Kreisler (Sitter: Michael McWilliams)

Collaroy Plateau artist Kirsty Neilson is also a finalist this year for her portrait of Gary McDonald, the gentleman who created the character ‘Norman Gunston’ and had long running success in the ABC comedy ‘Mother and Son’ with legendary actress Ruth Cracknell.

Kirsty’s work was inspired by seeing an Australian Story program on the actor which addressed his long running battle with anxiety and depression. Her portrait is titled ‘There’s no humour in darkness’.

Also among the finalists is a young Artist Natasha Walsh 2015 Mosman Youth Art Prize winner (3rd for ‘The dish of the RAF’) whose self-portrait has been completed on copper. Natasha will be part of the Mosman Art Gallery event 'Pathways to a creative future' on Sunday 31 July  2:00 pm to 4:00 pm

This is a forum for young creatives who are passionate and curious about pursuing a life in the visual arts. Details in this Issue’s Youth page.

Archibald Prize Finalist Natasha Walsh 'Self-portrait' oil on copper, 25 x 22.5cm © the artist Photo: AGNSW, Felicity Jenkins (Sitter: Natasha Walsh)

The 2016 Archibald winner will be announced in Sydney next Friday, July 15th.

The Art Gallery of NSW was established in 1871. Each year more than 30 exhibitions are presented including the annual exhibitions of the Archibald and Art Express. Admission to the Gallery is free, as are the permanent galleries and most exhibitions and events.

The Art Gallery of NSW aims to be a place of experience and inspiration, through the collection, exhibitions, programs and research. Vvisited by over 1 million people annually, the Gallery is far more than just a destination for looking at pictures. It’s also a place to enjoy lectures and symposia, films, music and performances, meet friends for a meal or coffee in the cafe or restaurant, or browse in the Gallery Shop. The range of access programs and education programs is aimed at engaging diverse audiences with different needs.

All Finalists can be viewed online at the Art Gallery of NSW's website:

Archibald Prize 2016 finalists  

Wynne Prize 2016 finalists   

Sulman Prize 2016 finalists   

Young Archie 2016 finalists and honourable mentions  


16 Jul – 9 Oct 2016

Buy tickets from Qtix   

Tickets can be used once, anytime the exhibition is open. You don’t specify a date or time when booking.

$18 adult - $16 concession - $14 member - $44 family (2 adults + up to 3 children) - $8 child (5-17 years) - $29/$26/$23 multi-visit pass - $7 student (booked school groups). Free for children under 5

Location: Major exhibition gallery

The Archibald Prize

Awarded to the best painting of a notable Australian, the Archibald Prize is a who’s who of Australian culture, from politicians and celebrities to sporting heroes and artists. Prestigious and controversial, the Archibald Prize is Australia’s foremost portraiture prize. The Archibald Prize awards $100,000 prize money for the winning artist.

In its 95th year, the Archibald Prize has been held annually since 1921. An open competition, the Archibald Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Entries to the Archibald Prize must be painted in the past year from at least one live sitting.

Finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour. In the early years, all entries were hung.

The Wynne Prize

The $50,000 Wynne Prize is Awarded to either a landscape painting or figurative sculpture, the Wynne Prize is Australia’s oldest art prize. It was established following a bequest by Richard Wynne and was first awarded in 1897, marking the official opening of the Art Gallery of NSW at its present site. Finalists are displayed as part of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibition.

Entries in the Wynne Prize are also eligible for the Trustees’ Watercolour Prize and for the John & Elizabeth Newham Pring Memorial Prize, which may be awarded to the best watercolour by a woman artist. The Wynne Prize is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW.

The Sulman Prize

The Sulman Prize is awarded for the best genre painting, subject painting or mural project* by an Australian artist. $40,000 awarded to the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project in oil, acrylic, watercolour or mixed media.

Established within the terms of Sir John Sulman’s bequest, the Sulman was first awarded in 1936. Finalists are displayed as part of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman exhibition.

Each year, the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW invite a guest artist to judge the Sulman Prize. The 2016 Sulman Prize judge is contemporary Australian artist, Judy Watson.

*A genre painting is normally a composition representing some aspect or aspects of everyday life and may feature figurative, still-life, interior or figure-in-landscape themes. In contrast, a subject painting is idealised or dramatised and typically takes its theme from history, poetry, mythology or religion. In both cases however, the style may be figurative, representative, abstract or semi-abstract. A mural is a picture fixed directly to a wall or ceiling as part of an architectural and/or decorative scheme.

The Packing Room Prize and People’s Choice Award

Entries in the Archibald Prize are eligible to be considered for the Packing Room Prize valued at $1,500 in 2016 and the People’s Choice award valued at $3,500.

The Packing Room Prize was first awarded in 1991 and is chosen by the gallery staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries. However, 51 per cent of the vote goes to the head of the packing room, Steve Peters.

The People’s Choice Award was first awarded in 1988 and is voted for by members of the public visiting the Archibald exhibition.

Public Programs


Celebrity talk: Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2016

Amanda Keller talks to a finalist in this year’s exhibition

Wednesday 20 July 2016, 6.30pm

Entrance court | Free | No bookings required

Amanda Keller co-hosts WSFM’s breakfast radio show Jonesy and Amanda in the morning and is the host of Network Ten’s Logie Award winning lifestyle show The living room. Keller talks to a finalist in this year’s Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prize exhibition to find out what it took to create their artwork. The talk will be followed by live music by Sydney singer Sarah Belkner.

Late night laughs

7, 14, 28 September and 5 October, 6.30-7pm

Entrance court | Free | No bookings required

The Archibald Prize brings out the art critic in everyone. In this series of stand-up performances, Australia’s finest comedians put their spin on the country’s best-loved art prize and the people we love to see in paint.

Archibald 2016 lunch

At the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Wednesday 31 August 2016, 12pm | Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878

Location: Level 3, Wentworth Ballroom, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 61-101 Phillip St, Sydney

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and the Art Gallery of NSW present the Archibald 2016 lunch. Hosted by Suhanya Raffel, the Gallery’s deputy director and director of collections, and Nell Schofield, writer and presenter, this is your opportunity to be part of the conversation with selected artists and their subjects. After more than a decade, this will be the last year of the Archibald lunch. Come celebrate this special event with us!

Tickets: $108 non-member, $98 member, $980 table (10 people) Bookings and enquiries: 02 9225 1878


Some Examples of 2016 Young Archie Finalists and Honourable Mentions 

Finalist: 5-8 year olds

Indigo-Rose Kralj - Age 6

This is my best friend, Ivy. She is kind, nice, pretty and helpful. She is always there for me. We shall be best friends forever. She loves me too!

Finalist: 5-8 year olds

Alexander Bennett - Age 8

I have chosen Jihan because he is my friend and I play soccer with him. He likes art too.

Finalist: 9-12 year olds

Oliver Freeman - Age 11

I have chosen to depict my grandpa, George. Every Thursday he catches the train to my school and we walk and laugh as we walk around the park having afternoon tea, throwing around the ball and playing basketball, not to mention sprinting around the oval, which, after a headstart, he often wins! He is inevitably the highlight of my week. George is an 86-year-old man who is energetic, kind and friendly and I love him so dearly. I could not imagine a life without him.

Finalist: 9-12 year olds

Leon Kim - Age 11

I chose Ian, my little brother, who could also be described as cute. He cares and supports me to do things, so I like him. Also, he makes me laugh. I drew this to express how much I like him and what I can do for him. Without him, my life could have changed to a dull state.

Finalist: 13-15 year olds

Sam Davison - Age 14

My father, Aaron Clayton Davison, is my role model and my best friend, so choosing somebody who plays an important and significant role in my life was easy… my dad! He is intelligent, has a great sense of humour, is always kind and caring, and is the nicest person you’ll ever meet. My dad inspires and motivates me to always do my best and I am very grateful for that.

Finalist: 13-15 year olds

James Stibilj - Age 14

The person in my portrait is Kath Davies – family friend, mother of three, founder of the Possibility Project and my creative mentor. Kath glows an energy of possibility, light, nature and love. The best beauty is found within, and my artwork demonstrates what it is like to know Kath Davies.

Finalist: 13-15 year olds

Abbey Vella - Age 13

This is my little sister Felisha, who is a bubbly five year old. She always knows just how to make me laugh, and brings happiness to me every day. I have shown her fun, bubbly personality by drawing her pulling a silly face since she chose not to smile. She really is the happiest little girl I know, and a lovely little sister.

Finalist: 16-18 year olds

Georgina Findley - Age 16

I have chosen my poppy (Sid). He has a very gentle, loving and caring nature. He has lived a tough life and was always hardworking. This shows in his kind but rugged face, which made him an interesting subject for my artwork.

Finalist: 16-18 year olds

Dilara Niriella - Age 17

Though my father has dedicated his life to protecting his young children, he hasn’t sugar-coated it. He said, ‘Hardships can happen, don’t let them tear you down, regard them as a life lesson to be inspired by and fly like an eagle.’ His determination has enabled us to have a good life here. If I were an author I would have written his life story, but instead I have painted a portrait. Behind this tough exterior is a gentle, loving man with a sense of humour that I admire.

Finalist: 16-18 year olds

Kianie Zeng - Age 16

The person I have chosen is my younger brother. I have been with him since the day he was born, so he has known me his whole life. This image was presented in black and white to showcase the serious side he barely shows to others. However reckless and irresponsible he may seem, he has his eyes set on the future and is trying his best, as shown in his line of sight and the lighting.


Honourable mention: 5-8 year olds

Anita Novakovic - Age 8

I have chosen my mum because she does everything for me. She also pays for dancing and takes me everywhere.

Honourable mention: 9-12 year olds

Sachi Elliott - Age 10

I have drawn my brother Kenji. He is very important to me because I have lived with him for nearly my whole life. We play a lot together, which is another reason. He is in his football gear because he plays a lot of footy. He loves football!

Honourable mention: 13-15 year olds

Hannah Batchelor - Age 15

I have chosen to draw my great-grandfather, who is 90 years old. I am so lucky to have him live next door to me. He is a huge influence in my life as I sit with him for hours while he tells me how life was when he was my age and the way our world has changed since then. He has a great love for life and always encourages me to follow my dreams.

Honourable mention: 13-15 year olds

Jenny Zhang - Age 15

My big sister Connie and I share a mutual love/hate relationship (although she might not always agree on the ‘love’ part). Although we both irk each other to no end, she is most often the person I come to with my problems regarding life or circle geometry. Here, I have captured the moment when I threw a glass of water into her face, as she was studying for her HSC and refused to pose for me. I think it expresses our bond quite adequately.

Honourable mention: 16-18 year olds

Kathleen O'Hagan - Age 16

My brother David is beyond stubborn and instantly rejected the idea of me doing his portrait. It took bargaining, begging and expert compromises to receive his ‘willing consent’. The outcome of negotiating with an imaginative ten year old was the use of a struggling cat, his favourite jacket and a painted cardboard box to cover as much of his expressionless face as possible. Yet, these quirky compromises display his character perfectly and show how much I truly love him. His innocent, sometimes annoying qualities continue to inspire me to keep working, creating, and to be a big sister he can be proud of.

Honourable mention: 16-18 year olds

Olivia Bracken - Age 17

My friend Chloe. Her smile always helps me see the positive aspects of life.

Photos of Young Archie Finalists and Honourable Mentions artworks by  AGNSW  Photographers, Felicity Jenkins, Mim Stirling and Nick Kreisler.