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Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2022

See the winners of this year's prizes — then vote for your favourites.
By Sarah Ward
May 16, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
May 16, 2022
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Every year for the past 101 years, the Archibald Prize has recognised exceptional works of portraiture by Australian artists. In 2022, from a field of 52 finalists, the coveted award has gone to Moby Dickens by Blak Douglas. The painting depicts Wiradjuri artist Karla Dickens, who lives on Bundjalung Country in Lismore, and is designed as a metaphor for northern NSW town's floods earlier in 2022.

Douglas — a Sydney-based artist with Dhungatti heritage, who was born Adam Hill – made history, too, as the first New South Wales First Nations artist to win with a painting of a New South Wales First Nations artist. "I'm elated," he said, accepting the award. "It's a major historic win."

A huge 1908 entries were submitted for the the 2022 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes. From that three winners were unveiled at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on Friday, May 13. All three decisions were unanimous, and they provide an impressive snapshot of the Aussie art scene right now.

For the Sir John Sulman Prize, 491 works were submitted, with Claire Healy and Sean Cordeiro winning for Raiko and Shuten-dōji. The first collaborative duo to do so to win the award — which is presented to the best mural, subject or genre painting — they nabbed the prize for their rendering of the battle between the warrior and the demon that gives the colourful piece its title.

With the Wynne Prize — which recognises the best landscape painting of Australian scenery, or figure sculpture — Nicholas Harding emerged victorious from 601 entries with painting Eora. The artist has a long history with the awards, being shortlisted for the Wynne nine times, and also for the Archibald 19 times, including winning the latter in 2001.

Also a winner, but announced last week, on Thursday, May 5: Sydney-based artist Claus Stangl, who picked up this year's Packing Room Prize. He won for a portrait of the one and only Taika Waititi, because there really is nothing that the Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Thor: Ragnarok filmmaker can't do.

The winning portraits and finalists are now be on display at Sydney's Art Gallery of NSW up until Sunday, August 28. If you don't agree with the judges, you can cast your own vote for People's Choice, which will be announced on Wednesday, July 27.

Winner Wynne Prize 2022, Nicholas Harding. Eora, oil on linen, 196.5 x 374.8 cm © the artist, image © AGNSW, Mim Stirling.

Top image: Excerpt of winner Archibald Prize 2022, Blak Douglas. Moby Dickens, synthetic polymer paint on linen, 300 x 200 cm © the artist, image © AGNSW, Mim Stirling. Sitter: Karla Dickens.

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