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  • Writer's pictureJillAnsell

Archibald Finalist

Updated: Dec 4, 2023


Delighted to get the news that this little portrait has been accepted into the 2023 Archibald Prize! Beyond delighted really ❤️




This self-portrait assemblage emerged from an old sketch of myself squinting in the desert sun, and a lively conversation last year with other West Australian artists that highlighted how few of us participate in the Archibald Prize. The most common reason given for not entering was distance and the resultant expense of freight.


For the portrait I positioned myself, facing east into morning sun, searching to see Sydney, nearly 4,000 km away on the other side of the map.

I wanted the portrait to explore how W.A artists can feel remote and unseen. The composition suggests an old postcard that has taken multiple wrong turns over a century before arriving at its destination: the Archibald Prize.


The work is split in two panels that fit in an old tobacco tin. It includes small items such as broken watch parts and desert sand. I had some misgivings that the vintage postage stamp I scrounged from an Aunt's stamp album, might be worth more than the artwork. The dog’s origins are mysterious, however most art is improved with a dog, so I included it. The sheep are from a much-loved Squatter game.

For the address label I calculated how long it would take me to walk to the Art Gallery of NSW, if I was fitter and took Sunday off to treat blisters.


The irony that this work has actually made it into the Archibald Prize is not lost on me.



PS: Apologies to Adelaide, Victoria, and Tasmania for leaving you off the map – I know how you feel.


NSW Art Gallery Link here










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