24 June 2024

Macquarie and the Archibald

The Hawkesbury is associated with many famous artists who captured the region, like Arthur Streeton, Julian Ashton and Charles Conder, and we have superb and commercially successful local artists—too many to name. But now, we can celebrate Kurrajong's own artist, Laura Jones, who has won the Archibald Prize for her portrait of the writer and conservationist Tim Winton. Laura is only the 12th woman to win the prize, worth $100,000, and her work captures Tim Winton as a thoughtful and humble man. Laura was also a finalist in this year's Sulman prize for her work Sliding Doors. When I texted with her a few days after the award, she was still on cloud nine. So we are very happy for her.

But Blue Mountains artists Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro were also finalists in the Wynne Prize, with their work Grey Nomadic Visions. Their works are bold, ambitious and always topical. They're concerned with global themes, such as colonisation, consumerism, migration and environmental degradation, and their winning entry is no exception. It features two invasive species, blackberries and a camel, painted onto the back doors of a truck used for hauling freight across the Australian outback.

It's such an honour to represent these creative people, and I congratulate them on their accomplishments