Vincent Namatjira wins Archibald Prize with Goodes portrait
Vincent Namatjira, from Indulkana in South Australia's far north APY Lands, has become the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize in its 99-year history, with a portrait of fellow Aboriginal footballer Adam Goodes.
Vincent, the great-grandson of iconic Aboriginal watercolour artist Albert Namatjira, accepted the $100,000 prize by video link from Indulkana.
"This is a really special moment for me, and I am feeling a bit nervous and excited," he said.
"What an honor it is to be the first Indigenous winner of the Archibald Prize … it only took 99 years.
"I am so proud to be the first, but I also want to acknowledge all the indigenous finalists and indigenous sitters for the Archibald this year, and in past years."
Another SA artist, Tsering Hannaford, was awarded a special commendation for her entry, titled Self-portrait after "Allegory of Painting", inspired by a 17th-century painting by Italian Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi.
She follows in the footsteps of her father, Riverton artist Robert Hannaford, who has been a finalist in the Archibald more than 20 times, but never won.
"The trustees this year, because it was a really, really good competition … decided to award a highly commended in the Archibald Prize," said the Art Gallery of NSW's board president David Gonski.
The subject of Namatjira's winning painting, former Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes, sent a message to be read at the announcement.
"I am thrilled that an Indigenous artist, Vincent Namatjira, has won the Archibald Prize for the first time," Goodes said.
"And I am so pleased that it shines a light on all indigenous art. We have a 60,000-year history of art and culture in our people and we share this knowledge and gift of culture with all Australia."
The pair first met in 2018 when Goodes visited the school in Indulkana, where Namatjira lives, as part of his work promoting Indigenous literacy.
Namatjira decided to reconnect with Goodes after watching the 2019 documentary The Final Quarter, which explored the final three years of his playing career when he publicly called out racism, sparking heated public debate.
"Vincent and I are also countrymen. I am so proud of Vincent and his family. Their journey has been shared through art of generations," Goodes said.
Winners were also announced for the Art Gallery of NSW's two other major competitions.
The $50,000 Wynne Prize for landscape painting was also won by an Aboriginal artist, Hubert Pareroultja, a Western Aranda man from the NT, for his work Tjoritja (West MacDonnell Ranges).
The $40,000 Sulman Prize for subject painting, genre painting or mural project was won by Sydney artist Marikit Santiago for her work titled The Divine.
All finalists and winners will be exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW until January 10.
Originally published as Vincent Namatjira wins Archibald Prize with Adam Goodes portrait