Portraits of previous winners are heavily represented, including last year’s Archibald winner Peter Wegner, which was painted by fellow 2021 finalist Hong Fu, and 1999 winner Euan MacLeod, who was painted by finalist 2021, Ann Cape.
Yoshio Honjo paints TV presenter Yumi Stynes as onna-musha, a female samurai, using natural earth pigments on handmade washi paper. Six-time runner-up Kim Leutwyler captured Shane Jenek and his alter ego Courtney Act in the same frame.
The $1,500 Packing Room Prize began in 1991 and has remained the larrikin child of the “real” Archibald with the winner taking home $100,000.
Cuthbertson has presented the annual Packing Room Award since taking over from Steve Peters as Chief Packer after the 2017 Archibald and announcing his retirement this year. Cuthbertson was 19 when he joined the gallery in 1981 as its first full-time art installer.
Its previous winners were rocker Jimmy Barnes (by Jamie Preisz in 2018), actor David Wenham (by Tessa MacKay in 2019), actor Meyne Wyatt (a self-portrait in 2020) and singer Kate Ceberano (by Kathrin Longhurst in 2021).
Forty-one years after Cuthbertson first joined the gallery, he says his body can’t take it anymore. “I need to get my hips redone, I need to get my knees redone,” he said. “The Archibald almost killed me this year. I don’t get up for a few weeks. I don’t take a break. »
This year’s Archibald Prize winner will be announced on Friday, May 13.
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