Hidden Faces of the Archibald, Peoples Choice Award 2013

Oil & Gold leaf on Canvas 120cm x 150cm. Subject: Justice Betty King of the Supreme Court of Victoria, relaxing at home after a hard day ‘at the office’. portrait by Jim van Geet.

Those in the art world know that the 2013 Hidden Faces of the Archibald People’s Choice exhibition is currently open for viewing and voting by the general public at the Hilton Melbourne, South Wharf Docklands Convention Centre from June 10 to August 8, 2013.

This story is for the uninitiated.

Last year was the first time my attentions were drawn to Melbourne’s Salon des Refuses as it is known in art circles. This happened by invitation from a friend of my brother, singer / songwriter Lucy Gale who was the portrait subject for artist Jim van Geet’s 2012 Archibald entry and was part of that years Hidden Faces. My job was to cover the event.

Even though I have spent many years in media and promotions directly and indirectly since the family business was first born back in 1972; I had never been drawn into this creative world of fine art in such a personal and ethereal way prior to that meeting in the Hilton foyer this time last year. Since then I have been an enthusiastic and appreciative participant, doing what I can to further illuminate the fruits of Melbourne’s extraordinary home grown fine artists.

Melbourne is well known around the world as the epicentre for Australia’s premier art and cultural communities. The Victorian Salon des Refuses, Hidden Faces has evolved to give audience and expression to our best and is open exclusively to Victorian artists, running in tandem with the touring of the Archibald show.

Long time curator / manager of the Melbourne Hidden Faces, Jacqueline Taylor OAM from Ozlink Entertainment says, “I am constantly amazed at the talent of portrait artists in Victoria. Hidden Faces continues to bring-to-the-fore this expertise in this year’s excellent collection of paintings.

This years exhibition is showcasing 52 diverse portraits; encompassing a wide variety of subjects, styles and techniques featuring comedy, sport and justice making this display outstanding.

My friend Jim van Geet, a veteran contributor to the Sydney based Archibald art competition chose his subject for this years entry very carefully. He was drawn to the Hon. Justice Betty King of the Supreme Court of Victoria, regardless of the fact Betty was the subject of another artist’s 2012 Archibald entry. His reason for this when asked was to say, “I wanted to reflect who she is, not what she does.” Betty’s portrait bares witness to his intent. Another stand out feature of Jim’s portrait of Betty King is the surrounding gold leave background which is known by all artists as being exceptionally hard to paint well.

After close viewing of this inspiring exhibition in its entirety I can confidently say I have chosen my top five contenders to take out this years People’s Choice Award. In random order the remaining candidates are:

Baymarrwangga_lowresGillian Warden titled “Virtue” Mixed Media on Canvas 122cm h x 122cm w. Subject: Laurie Baymarrwangaa (Australian of the Year 2012)

Samantha Harris portrait copy

Matt Adnate titled “For All to See” Spray Paint with Acrylic background on Canvas 110cm h x 180cm w. Subject: Samantha Harris, Aboriginal Supermodel.

Matthew Harding portrait

Artist David Bryant titled Matthew Harding, Artist engaged in Scupture, Public Art & Designwatercolour 153cm h x 117cm w.

John Waters

Vicki Sullivan titled ‘John Waters‘ Oil on Belgian Linen 130cm h x 100cm w. Subject: John Waters, Actor & Singer.

Location: Lobby, Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, 2 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf

When: 10 June – 8 August 2013. Freely open for viewing all day.

review by Kerrie Pacholli



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