Out of more than 2400 entries, only 70 artworks were selected as finalists for this year's Young Archie competition. This year, the guest judge was artist Ramesh Nithiyendran. This tenth year of the Young Archie competition, which started in 2013, saw a record number of entries as well as the largest number of finalists ever exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, from 14 May to 24 August 2022. Honourable mentions are displayed at the SH Ervin Gallery from 14 May to 24 July 2022 alongside the Salon des Refusés.
Excitingly, two Emanuel School students Lotus van der Starre and Jessica Linker have been recognised for their impressive portraits of their grandparents. They each took the time to share their inspirations and connections with their subjects, as well as the processes they undertook to create their artworks.
My painting ‘From the Mountain’ is a painting of my Dutch Grandma, My Oma Marian. Growing up I always looked up to her because she was a kind and gentle person. The photo was taken and developed by my Opa in 1973 when she was 27. I loved her fashion and lifestyle when she was younger, and I asked for a photo which reflected her style. I wanted to capture how kind and real she is. I did this by making my portrait black and white and kept some of the paper coming through the portrait. I used oil paints and graphic pencil to create my artwork. I have always found portraits the most interesting to make as a portrait can express so much and tell so much about the person, with help of the subject’s expression the colours and techniques used can end up making a moving portrait. My art tutor Cyndi Rogoff encouraged me to create an artwork to submit to the Young Archies and due to my interest in portrait making I wanted to give it a go.
Lotus van der Starre
I have always loved drawing, and I have recently been trying to develop my skills in portraiture. The ability to use art to capture a likeness of a person has always fascinated and amazed me. Thus, when deciding to enter the Young Archibald competition, I knew that I wanted to use this new skill of mine to draw my grandfather, who has always been an inspiration to me. Elderly faces are a form of art in themselves - the detail in the lines and wrinkles were such fun to work on. Although it was certainly a painstaking process to add these details, I think it resulted in an interesting portrait with lots of depth. My grandfather has always had a rather jovial attitude, and a hint of cheek in his personality. I hope that I managed to capture this in my portrait. Personally, I feel that the eyes are the most important aspect of a portrait, especially in terms of how they communicate a person’s character and emotions. Therefore, I probably spent the longest amount of time working on my grandfather’s eyes. To draw my grandfather in both his current and younger self, I merely used a collection of graphite pencils - ranging from HB to 8B. I completed the background last by painting a wash of black watercolour around the drawing. I used a reference photo to form accurate proportions, before shading and shading until I was happy with the result.