Sydney-based artist Tony Costa has won the Archibald Prize 2019 with Lindy Lee, a portrait featuring fellow artist in a deep and pensive pose which reflects her Zen Buddhist practice and Chinese heritage. When accepting his prize, Costa thanked his mother who told him “to always follow his heart.”
It’s a pretty important win too: Costa’s depiction of friend Lindy Lee is the first winner of the Archibald Prize to feature an Asian Australian sitter in the 98-year history of the prize.
As well as the iconic Archibald, the Wynne and Sulman prices were also announced.
The Wynne, which goes to a landscape piece went to a dazzling work titled Seven Sisters by artist Sylvia Ken. From the Amata community in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in South Australia, the artist tells the story of the Seven Sisters, for which her family are the traditional owners of the site.
Sylvia Ken’s painting is a huge and vivid portrayal of this sacred story. Bright oranges, pinks, and reds cover the canvas, which the artist says are gathered by listening to the spirits guide her through her painting process.
The Sulman Prize, awarded to a mural or subject painting, was won by Sydney-artist, McLean Edwards with The first girl that knocked on his door.
Edwards acknowledged his “peculiar style” when accepting his award; and as a painting about romance, it seems fitting that he expressed his deep love of the gallery.
Image credit: Art Gallery of NSW.