June 20, 2024
Art Gallery

Who’s in the running to win the 2024 Archibald prize?

Northern Rivers–based street artist Matt Adnate has taken out the 2024 Packing Room Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for his portrait of ARIA Award–winning Yolŋu rapper Baker Boy. Adnate was thrilled with the win.

“I grew up as a graffiti artist,” he said to a packed media room. “When I was a teenager I spent the first ten years just painting letters and then evolved into portraiture. I always looked at places like the Art Gallery of New South Wales and, growing up in Melbourne, the NGV, as places that I would never dream of ever having a painting in, let alone winning a prize like this.”

Baker Boy (Danzal Baker OAM), a multi-award winning, multilingual and multi-disciplinary Indigenous artist, was the first Indigenous artist to achieve mainstream success rapping in his mother tongue. He is known as the ‘Fresh Prince of Arnhem Land’ and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to performing arts in 2021. Baker, appearing via video link, said that he has been painted “many times” by Adnate over the last seven years, including for the cover of his debut album, Gela, in 2021.

“It’s always an honour to be painted by such an incredible artist who is able to capture different versions of me and this time is no different,” Matt’s work tells stories… and, most importantly, he amplifies the voices of those he paints which is very powerful.”

The Packing Room prize is now in its 33rd year and is judged by the Art Gallery of New South Wales staff responsible for receiving and unpacking the entries. The prize is valued at $3,000 and was presented by the ‘Packing Room pickers’, Timothy Dale, Monica Rudhar and Alexis Wildman.

Also revealed today were the 2024 Archibald Prize finalists. Of the 57 finalists in the Archibald Prize, highlights include a portrait of actor Jacob Elordi by Sydney painter Caroline Zilinsky, Mia Boe’s portrait of television presenter Tony Armstrong, and, in her Archibald debut, a portrait of the artist Joan Ross by Anna Mould. Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist Thea Anamara Perkins is a second-time finalist with a portrait of her mother, curator Hetti Perkins, and, in a nod to the late Bill Granger, food writer Jill Dupleix has been captured by Zoe Young seated in his eponymous restaurant in the painting Jill’s at Bills’.

Highlights across the Sulman Prize include Jedda Daisy Scully’s enigmatically titled I’m not a butterfly, I’m your haunted fairy, I’m your soul trapped inside your chit-chatting body, Illuwanti Ken and Yaritji Young’s Eagle munu tjala (eagle and honey ant), and Holly Greenwood’s No phones allowed.

Joan Ross’ Who Said possession is nine-tenth’s of the law and Luke Sciberras’ Autumn Light, Lake George/Werriwas are among the standout finalists in the Wynne Prize, awarded to the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture.

The winners of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2024 will be announced next Friday 7 June at midday. The exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales will run from Saturday 8 June to Sunday 8 September 2024.

For the full list of prize finalists and to purchase tickets, visit the Art Gallery of NSW’s website.


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Cover images (left to right): Caroline Zilinsky ‘A lucid heart – the golden age of Jacob Elordi’, oil on linen, 152.5 x 122.4 cm; Jedda Daisy Culley ‘I’m not a butterfly, I’m your haunted fairy, I’m your soul trapped inside your chit-chatting cage body’, water-based pigment on canvas, 183 x 152.5 cm; Mia Boe ‘Tony’, synthetic polymer paint and oil on linen, 198 x 137.2 cm.

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