Studio A artist an Archibald portrait finalist

The pattern in the mountains of Studio A, best friends Emma and Gabrielle, by Studio A artist Emily Crockford, was one of 52 pieces selected from 816 entries in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2022.

Crockford’s colourful portrait is of Gabrielle Mordy, the CEO and artistic director of Studio A in Sydney, which provides professional development for artists with disability, and Emma Johnston, Studio A’s principal artist.

Crockford is also supported by Studio A.

New Zealand-born Sydney-based artist Claus Stangl took out one of Australia’s top art honours with his portrait of Academy Award-winning director Taika Waititi. Stangl was announced as the winner of the packing room prize, a sub-category of the Archibald prize for portraiture.

“I first met Emma many years ago. I met Gab a few years later. They are best friends and get on so well,” Crockford said.

“Emma and Gab posed for me.”

“They crossed their legs and I asked them to link their fingers and rest their hands in their laps. It looks so spunky and beautiful, colourful and bright – just like Emma and Gab!”

“They both wore colourful clothing for me as they know how much I love painting colour and patterns.”

“I love the sunset mountains with patterns. It’s like Gab and Emma are flying in the sunset.”

Crockford was also a finalist in the 2020 Archibald with a self-portrait in which she painted herself with her late father John.

This year saw the highest known number of entries from Aboriginal artists (20) and the highest number of Aboriginal finalists in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes overall (27).

Check out the Packing Room winner and the 52 finalists here. Absolutely stunning.

The exhibition of all finalists is open at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until August 28.

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