Today I did it!! I actually entered for my first time a portrait into the Archibald Prize. After painting 4 self portraits ‘Drowning In Soft Plastics’ was voted the clear winner by all of you who followed my journey on social media and has a clear and important message to viewers of my art - that action must be taken to recycle single use soft plastics now - hence the bag on my head.
Plastic bag on my head for the Archibald portrait as I attempt to convey a look of despair and message close to my heart. I figure if I’m going to put my mug out there then I’d like to use it to send a message to those giants in the supermarket business and government that let me down. I trained 3 kids and my partner to place ALL soft plastics into a new special household bin scolding them when they didn’t and then years of diligently returning them to the REDcycle bins at the big supermarkets so that they could be recycled into useful items like park benches instead of going into landfill. What a shock and disappointment to learn that these soft plastics were just being stockpiled into warehouses!!
Australian households stepped up and did the right thing, now it is time for industry leaders and government to work together to find a solution. The recycling program has been paused for 5 months now and I cringe every time a piece of soft plastic goes in the bin. For the sake of our children and the future of our planet we need to do something. Reduction of the use of plastics is happening but at a slow place so while they still exist lets avoid landfill and figure out solutions for their use in a fully functioning circular economy. The price of not doing so is too high.
So that’s my rant and my reason for the plastic bag on my head, the fish in the water are not the only ones that will be suffocated by plastics and while it may not be in our lifetime, the continued use of *unnecessary plastics could ultimately suffocate us all.
Here is my self portrait for entry into The Archibald Prize, ‘Drowning In Soft Plastics’.
I know I haven’t achieved an exact likeness in the self portrait but it’s a painting that I like! The colours glow and the composition is exactly what I hoped to achieve staying within my lose painterly style. I placed my signature on the left and at an angle, both unusual for me but I couldn’t see it working any other way without destroying the shapes I had created.
It has been a long held dream of mine to paint a portrait and enter it into The Archibald. I've been visiting this amazing exhibition all over Australia for decades and can't wait to see it again this year. This process has sparked an excitement for painting portraiture and will definitely be something I look to explore further.
So the big date is 27th April when the finalists of the Archibald will be announced. Wish me luck and huge thanks to everyone for following this exciting journey with me ❤❤
The Archibald Prize is seen as the most prestigious portrait painting prize in Australia, first awarded in 1921 after the receipt of a bequest from J.F.Archibald the editor of The Bulletin who died in 1919. It is held each year at The Art Gallery of New South Wales and awarded for "the best portrait, preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics".