Culture

Diversity shines in 2019 Archibald Prize portraits

Each year the Archibald Prize attracts a stellar lineup of art, with an array of people from all walks of life presented through outstanding portraiture.

This week entries have started flowing in at the Art Gallery of NSW, and seeing these two women painted for Archibald portraits is a promising nod to culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Australia.

Indigenous Australian writer, actor and comedian  Nakkiah Lui appears in Laura Jones’ 2019 entry, which the 28-year-old explains she posed for at the Sydney Opera House.

“I was so lucky to have the amazing, amazing artist (and dear friend) Laura Jones paint me for the #archibaldprize,” the Black Is The New White playwright penned on Twitter.

“She is so incredibly talented and a beautiful person – we had a great time in my dressing at the @SydOperaHouse with this!”

Afghan-born Australian lawyer and Diversity & Inclusion commentator Mariam Veiszadeh posed for artist Angus McDonald back in 2017. Now two years on, the portrait, which Mariam says provides “a window into my soul”, has been submitted for the Archibald.

“So I was approached & photographed in 2017 by the talented @angusmcz for the #ArchibaldPrize,” Mariam wrote on Twitter.

“He wanted me to pose as the ‘Girl with a pearl earring’. He has submitted this incredible portrait for this year’s Archibald Prize. I’m honoured. Thank you Angus.”

After a string of comments echoed that the portrait was ‘beautiful’ and ‘stunning’, Mariam published a subsequent tweet to thank her followers for their support.

“To say I’m overwhelmed with the responses is an understatement. A lot has happened since 2017, so my face is rounder now lol but I’m truly indebted to Angus McDonald for so exquisitely providing a window into my soul. Best of luck with the @ArtGalleryofNSW #ArchibaldPrize,” she wrote.

The 2019 Archibald’s Prize finalists will be announced on May 2.

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