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Archibald winner announced -

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Reporter: Oscar McLaren

TANYA NOLAN: Well Sydney's art establishment has gathered at the Art Gallery of New South Wales for
the announcement of Australia's premier portraiture prize, the Archibald.

The prize for the best portrait of a man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or
politics has been held since 1921, and this year's winner has just been announced.

Our reporter Oscar McLaren is at the gallery. Oscar, who's the lucky artist?

OSCAR MCLAREN: Well Tanya, they certainly kept us in suspense about who it was going to be. They
narrowed the 39 finalists down to five and then they ran through those names. Then they narrowed it
down to another two, which was Ben Quilty's painting of Jimmy Barnes and Guy Maestri's painting of
the Indigenous singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

And in the end the winner of the prize was Guy Maestri for his painting of Geoffrey Gurrumul
Yunupingu.

Now, Gurrumul as I mentioned is an Indigenous singer who has been developing quite a rapidly
growing public profile. He won two ARIA Awards at the latest ARIAs and he's also, he's also blind.

And Guy Maestri saw him at a New Year's Eve concert and said that he was sitting in the audience
and people were literally moved to tears when they were watching him. So at that point he decided
that he wanted to paint Gurrumul Yunupingu as his subject and then he eventually arranged to have
just a 40-minute sitting with Gurrumul.

And so, but in that time he managed to get a really very striking, very beautiful painting in black
and white, just of Gurrumul's face.

And he's described it as being a very, of presenting an image of Gurrumul as being very quiet and
strong and I think that for everyone here was agreeing that that is the case.

So in accepting the award, Guy Maestri the painter said that he'd been really overwhelmed by the
entire experience.

GUY MAESTRI: Hi, hey!

(Sound of crowd cheering)

GUY MAESTRI: Phew, I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack.

(Sound of crowd laughing)

GUY MAESTRI: Thank you everybody. This is very, very surreal. Firstly I've got a statement.
Unfortunately Gurrumul couldn't be here today so he has written a short statement for me to read
out, which I'll do now:

'I would like to congratulate Guy for his painting and for the recognition he deserves in winning
the Archibald. I'm very proud that he asked me to paint my portrait, and I'm very pleased for his
success. I'm sorry I could not be there with him.

'I would also like to tell everyone that I didn't win this money so please don't call me asking for
some of it.'

(Sound of crowd laughing)

TANYA NOLAN: That was the Archibald winner, Guy Maestri reading a statement from his subject,
Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.

Well Oscar, some other prizes have also been announced. Can you run through them with us briefly?

OSCAR MCLAREN: That's right. Well we had the Sulman Prize which was also announced today. It's for
the best subject for a genre painting or mural. That went to the artist Ivan Durrant for his
painting 'Anzac Match MCG.'

And there's also the Wynne Prize that was announced today for the best landscape painting or mural.
It actually had more entries than the Archibald Prize this year by a small number. There were in
excess of 700 for it. It went to Lionel Bawden for his painting 'The amorphous ones (the vast
colony of our being).'

So quite a few winners here today.

TANYA NOLAN: Our reporter Oscar McLaren at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, thank you.