Laura Jones wins the 2024 Archibald Prize

Laura Jones has won the 2024 Archibald Prize for her portrait of writer Tim Winton, taking home the $100,000 prize in Australia’s most coveted art award.

Jones is only the twelfth woman to win the prize, and she hopes her win will inspire future women artists.

The pair met because of the Great Barrier Reef. As Jones’s artist statement says, “In 2016, Laura Jones undertook an artist residency to study the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, leading to her exhibition Bleached. Afterwards, she met acclaimed author and conservationist Tim Winton at an environmental advocacy event.”

Jones noted how Winton was always “inspiring” for her since reading Cloudstreet in high school, and upon meeting the pair talked for hours. Jones hopes her win will foster greater appreciation for the environment.

This year, the Art Gallery of New South Wales received 2371 entries across the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes, which is the second highest number of entries received in the history of the prizes, following the record year in 2020.

Some of the 57 Archibald finalists include Mia Boe painting Tony Armstrong, Robert Fielding painting Mayatja (keeper of song and culture), Shaun Gladwell painting Julian Assange, Sam Leach painting Louise Milligan, Angus McDonald painting Germaine Greer, Eliza Bertwistle painting Chanel Contos, and Jessie Bourke painting Chloé Hayden—and that’s just a snapshot. The full list of finalists and their portraits can be found here.

Meanwhile Djakaŋu Yunupiŋu has won the $50,000 Wynne Prize for Nyalala gurmilili. This award celebrates the best landscape painting of Australian scenery or figurative sculpture. This year’s Wynne Prize finalists can be found here.

And Naomi Kantjuriny has won the $40,000 Sulman Prize for her work Minyma mamu tjuta. A respected community Elder and a steady leading presence at Tjala Arts in Amata on the Aṉangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY Lands), Kantjuriny works across painting and drawing. In Minyma mamu tjuta, her artist statement explains that “she depicts mamu (good and bad spirits). Mamu are mainly harmful—evil spirits, monsters or an illness. They come in different forms and with varying powers. They can also be good spirits, helping and looking after people and children”.

With 628 entries submitted this year, this award acknowledges the best subject painting, genre painting or mural project. All Sulman Prize finalists are here.

The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes are run by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. All winning and finalist works will be showing at the gallery between 8 June—8 September.

Archibald Prize 2024 finalist works will then tour to regional New South Wales and the Northern Territory until August 2025, while Wynne Prize 2024 finalist works will tour regional New South Wales until June 2025.

News Words by Art Guide Australia