Arts & Entertainment

Portrait Of Lismore Flood Victim Wins Archibald Prize

Moly Dickens by Blak Douglas

Moly Dickens by Blak Douglas

Blak Douglas, a Sydney-based artist with Dhungatti heritage, has won the Archibald Prize 2022 and $100,000 for his portrait of artist Karla Dickens, titled Moby Dickens.

A five-time Archibald Prize finalist, Douglas painted his good friend, Wiradjuri woman Dickens for Australia’s most-loved portrait award. With his win Douglas becomes the second Aboriginal artist to win the Archibald Prize in 101 years after Western Aranda artist Vincent Namatjira won in 2020, and Moby Dickens is the first time a portrait of an Aboriginal woman has won the prize.

“I’m elated to be the first New South Wales First Nations artist to have won with a painting of a New South Wales First Nations artist. It’s a major historic win,” Douglas said.

Douglas depicted Dickens in the recent floods in her hometown of Lismore in northern New South Wales which devastated her community.

“I am completely over the moon for my dear friend, brother in art and early morning confidant Blak Douglas,” Dickens said. “I love this talented man … Adam is so deserving for all the praise and opportunity winning the Archibald will deliver… His painting not only has an incredible likeness to me and my mood in the last three months, but this killer work pays homage to each and every person who has found themselves knee deep in mud, physically, emotionally, mentally and financially after the natural disaster that has destroyed so many lives in the Northern Rivers of NSW and beyond.”

Douglas’s win sets him Claus Stangl, who’s portrait of Taika Waititi won this year’s Packing Room Prize.

Taika Waititi

Taika Waititi portrait by Claus Stangl.

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