Congratulations to Cairns-based artist Andrea Huelin who has won the 2023 Archibald Packing Room Prize for her portrait of New Zealand-born comedian Cal Wilson.
The Packing Room Prize is a $3000 award given to the best Archibald entry, as judged by the Art Gallery of New South Wales staff who receive, unpack and hang the entries.
Clown jewels is the first Archibald entry for Huelin, who was originally a journalist and broadcaster, and later followed her love of art and embarked on a career change into the arts. She eventually began painting herself, and is known for colourful representations of everyday life.
As Huelin says, “I was inspired to paint Cal because her Instagram posts modelling her brilliant homemade headpieces on her makeshift stage made me laugh out loud. Her poses reminded me of my sister and me making ourselves laugh by pulling funny faces in the mirror as kids and I could tell we share a similar sense of humour. I posted a congratulatory comment and Cal wrote back and admired my paintings, so I asked if she’d sit for a portrait.”
Melbourne-based Wilson has been a perennial figure on the Australian comedy circuit since 2003, and is known for her appearances on TV programs including Spicks and Specks, Have You Been Paying Attention? and as the new co-host of The Great Australian Bake Off.
Ahead of the announcement of the Archibald winner on Friday 5 May, the award’s 57 finalists have also been announced, alongside 41 in the Wynne and 45 in the Sulman. This year there were 2348 entries across the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes–the second highest number of entries ever, following the record year in 2020. The Art Gallery also received the highest ever total number of entries by Aboriginal artists across the three prizes.
The winners will be announced on Friday 7 May. See the finalist works here:
Explore the Archibald Prize 2023 finalists
Explore the Wynne Prize 2023 finalists
Explore the Sulman Prize 2023 finalists