Melbourne artist Raelene Sharp has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2012 Archibald Prize for her portrait of actor John Wood.
John Wood is one of Australia’s favourite actors with a career spanning over 40 years. He starred in Network Seven’s Blue Heelers for eight years, winning a Gold Logie in 2006 after being nominated ten times in a row. He has also won several Silver Logies for his work in Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules and Power without Glory.
Sharp visited Wood in his home where she sketched him as they talked and got to know each other. “His dogs kept jumping into his lap so it wasn’t easy,” she says. Wood then did several sittings in Sharp’s (dog-free) studio.
Sharp decided to focus on Wood’s very recognisable, well-known face. “I did a few studies of him to find the right look in order to represent his personality. We have now become quite good friends.”
Born in Melbourne in 1957, Sharp began her career as a graphic artist. She now concentrates on portraiture, although she also paints in other genres. She has received many corporate and university portrait commissions. She is a five-time finalist in the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award, winning in 2006. She has also been a finalist in the James Farrell Self Portrait Award and the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture among others, and has been hung in Melbourne’s Hidden Faces of the Archibald Prize – the Victorian equivalent of the Salon des Refuses. She is part of Fusion6, which has had two successful portrait exhibitions in recent years. This is her first time in the Archibald Prize.
The Packing Room Prize gives the gallery staff who receive the entries for the Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman Steve Peter’s 29th Archibald and the 21st Packing Room Prize.
Raelene receives $1,000 and a $500 ANZ debit card.
Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced today details available on the Gallery’s website at www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
This year there were 839 Archibald entries, 783 Wynne and 654 Sulman entries.
Archibald opens to the public on Saturday 31 March 2012.
31 Mar – 3 Jun 2012
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
$10.00, $8.00 concession