Bald Archy de­liv­ers Corowa record

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE -

Corowa reeled in an of­fi­cial at­ten­dance record at the 2018 Bald Archy Prize art ex­hi­bi­tion, which was on show in the Corowa Art Space for nearly a month.

Bald Archy vol­un­teers said they no­ticed an in­crease in peo­ple trav­el­ling long dis­tances to catch a glimpse of some in­spir­ing and, at the same time, con­tro­ver­sial paint­ings.

Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil Mayor Pat Bourke said there had been more than 1400 peo­ple, from as far as Scot­land and New Zealand, view the ex­hi­bi­tion, prov­ing that this year has been the big­gest at­ten­dance for the art ex­hi­bi­tion in Corowa yet.

Many also came from Swan­pool – who usu­ally hold the ex­hi­bi­tion – as the Bald Archy was taken off them for 2018.

“Over the last five years of us host­ing the event, the Bald Archy ex­hi­bi­tion has al­ways at­tracted a loyal band of sup­port­ers,” Mr Bourke said.

“Coun­cil is hon­oured to have had the op­por­tu­nity to show­case the Bald Archy col­lec­tion again and I would like to say a spe­cial thanks to the 25 vol­un­teers who give their valu­able time and as­sis­tance to make this pos­si­ble ev­ery year. The suc­cess of this ex­hi­bi­tion in Corowa is due to them and we are thank­ful for their con­tin­ued sup­port.”

The 2018 win­ner of the Bald Archy Prize is a por­trait of Ahn Do called ‘Anh Can Do’ by James Bren­nan. Bren­nan, who has taken out the prize on four oc­ca­sions, said he chose Ahn Do as his sub­ject for the prize be­cause he ad­mires him. Bren­nan had seen Ahn Do’s tele­vi­sion series and his works in the Archibald Prize and thought he would make a good sub­ject.

The work draws on the fa­mous Nor­man Rock­well self-por­trait in which the Amer­i­can artist paints his own por­trait us­ing his re­flec­tion in a mir­ror.

As ex­pected there are a num­ber of con­tro­ver­sies in this year’s ex­hi­bi­tion. One is a car­i­ca­ture of Shadow Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs Penny Wong, en­ti­tled ‘Two Rights Don’t Make a Wong’ by Ju­dith Nadin. It de­picts Sen­a­tor Corey Bernardi and Tony Ab­bott in wed­ding dresses and is about the same sex mar­riage de­bate.

Ac­cord­ing to founder of the prize Peter Batey, the com­pe­ti­tion cel­e­brates the “Aus­tralian lar­rikin sense of hu­mour”. It was launched in 1994 as a spoof of the Archibald Prize and as a way to pro­vide artists of all styles and stan­dards with a gen­uine op­por­tu­nity, rang­ing from the hi­lar­i­ous to the bizarrely vul­gar, to cre­ate por­trait paint­ings of hu­mour, dark satire, light com­edy or car­i­ca­ture.

The ex­hi­bi­tion fea­tured 45 fi­nal­ists.

Vis­i­tors were able to cast votes for their favourite piece. Coun­cil staff are cur­rently com­pil­ing the peo­ple’s choice awards votes that will be pub­lished in the near fu­ture.

Corowa Art Space has hosted the Bald Archy Prize tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion – which is now in its 25th year – an­nu­ally since 2014.

More than 1,400 peo­ple vis­ited the ex­hi­bi­tion this year – an at­ten­dance record.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.