After winning Australia’s top art prize – The Archibald – the last place Ben Quilty expected to wind up was the middle of the desert. But that is what the Australian War Memorial had in mind when they invited him to become an official war artist. In April Quilty won the Archibald prize for his painting of esteemed artist Margaret Olley. So when he got the call from a Memorial representative, he was hesitant. Read the full article »»»»
Sydney: A portrait of the celebrated painter and one-time Dobell muse Margaret Olley by the artist Ben Quilty has won the $50,000 Archibald Prize. Quilty’s work was chosen from more than 800 entries and 41 finalists to win the coveted portrait prize, now in its 90th year.
The 88-year-old doyenne of Australian art, who was also the subject of an Archibald winner by William Dobell in 1948, said: “Ben’s been wanting to paint me for years. But I kept on saying no.
Born in Sydney in 1973, Quilty was named runner-up in the 2009 Archibald and has been a finalist six times.
He embraced Olley after he was awarded the prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney. Quilty said he first met the elderly artist when she was a guest judge for the 2002 Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, which he won.