Hills District Independent JUNE 2017 #24 - Page 14

local life Archibald Prize wowing the North West Staff at Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor expected a good response to its current exhibition, the 2016 Archibald Prize: it is, after all, Australia’s most popular art exhibition, and arguably our most-loved cultural event. But the response has been even greater than expected. More than 200 attended the gala opening in May, and local residents and visitors to the area have been flocking to the gallery ever since. 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. The Prize awards $100,000 prize money for the winning artist, and finalists are exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales before embarking on a year-long regional tour. Women make their mark In the early days of The Archibald, women rarely featured, either as sitters or artists. When Nora Heysen became the first female artist to win the Archibald Prize in 1938, it provoked criticism from disgruntled male artists who said women should n't be allowed to enter. Times have changed, and in 2016 there was a fairly even split in terms of gender (26 male, 25 female). One of the most popular artworks is Carla Fletcher’s portrait of fashion icon, Linda Jackson. We have used it on our front cover as it so striking. “This painting of Australian fashion designer Linda Jackson is the twin- soul portrait of my 2015 Archibald Prize finalist portrait of Jenny Kee,” says artist, Carla Fletcher. “Together they are magic, transcendent, creative collaborators who electrified Australia with bolts of luminous colour and dreaming. From their first meeting in the early 1970s there was an instant soul connection, a connection that remains strong. “Inspired by the colour and energy of the Australian landscape, Jackson crusaded a new path for Australian fashion. She explored new approaches to textiles and incorporated never-before-seen bold Australian motifs drawn from nature, including her magical neon opal prints and Sturt’s Desert Pea flowers. “Many people remember Jackson and Kee’s unique, handmade one-off artisan pieces from Kee’s Flamingo Park boutique in Sydney’s Strand Arcade. Among the many fashionistas to seek them out were Princess Di and David Bowie.” CALL OUT TO OUR READERS Do you know someone... ...who has a great story to tell? ...who has an unusual hobby? ... who deserves some recognition for hard work? ... who has a favourite place in their world? ... who has two totally different lives – accountant by day, marathon runner on the weekend? WE WANT TO TELL THEIR STORY TO OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY If you know of someone let us know by contacting us via our website www.hdinews.com.au, send an email to info@hdinews.com.au or call Julie on 0421 574 093. If we use one of your story leads you could win a $50.00 shopping card! As well as the hugely popular exhibition, there is a stream of events and ways to get involved in this iconic cultural event. People’s Choice Award In conjunction with the exhibition, there is a people’s choice prize of $500, sponsored by ANZ. All you have to do is vote for your favourite work of art and your name goes into the draw. Archibald Artists in Conversation Saturday 10 June 1-3pm Kirsty Neilson, Natasha Walsh and Nick Stathopoulos will be in conversation at the gallery, to talk about their work, their sitters, and the spectacle that is the Archibald Prize. Nick’s portrait of Deng Adut won the People’s Choice prize when the exhibition was shown at the Art Gallery of NSW, and has continued to win praise while on tour around the country. $20, Members $15 (includes exhibition entry). Bookings essential through Eventbrite or phone 4560 4441. Guided Tours Free with exhibition entry – no need to book. Wednesday – Friday 1pm Saturday and Sunday 11am and 2pm Join specially trained Gallery volunteers who will guide you through the Archibald Prize. (Note: tours will not be held on 27 May, 10 June and 2 July, when there are visits and talks by artists). Portrait of a Mayor Wednesday 28 June 11am-1pm Councillor Mary Lyons-Buckett, Mayor of Hawkesbury will be sitting in the Gallery for 12 local artists. Come and watch their process and see the finished works on the Deerubbin Mezzanine from Thursday 29 June. Finissage: The closing of the exhibition Sunday 2 July 11am-12 noon Announcing the winners of the Young Archie. 1-3pm Artists in conversation - Dean Manning and Danelle Bergstrom. 3pm Join us for one last look, a glass of bubbles and light refreshments to farewell the Archibald! FREE with exhibition entry – all welcome. Extended opening hours For this exhibition, the gallery will be open every day 10am – 4pm. By arrangement with the Art Gallery of NSW, this is a ticketed event – pay at the door. Adults $5, Teens $3, Family $15 (2 adults and 3 teens), Gallery Members & Children 12 and under FREE. How to get there The gallery is located in the Deerubbin Centre at 300 George Street Windsor. Free parking is available in the basement car park and in neighbouring streets (some all day, most timed). 14 ISSUE 24 // JUNE 2017 www.hdinews.com.au THE hills INDEPENDENT