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Members’ Exclusive: Archibald Artist Talk, Mirra Whale and Ben Quilty
March 1, 2022 | 6:00 pm — 7:00 pm AEDT
Gallery Members are invited to join us after hours and hear from celebrated artists Mirra Whale and Ben Quilty, as they discuss the Archibald Prize, portraiture, and friendship amidst the exhibition.
Complimentary juice, beer, or red, white or sparkling wine upon arrival courtesy of Tyrrell’s Wines and the Pourhouse.
Not a Member? Not to worry, Become a Member online or use your Dine & Discover voucher over the counter and then join us for this exclusive talk.
Archibald Prize 2021 finalist Mirra Whale’s subject is artist Ben Quilty, winner of the 2011 Archibald Prize with a portrait of artist Margaret Olley. That same year he went to Afghanistan with Australian troops as an official war artist. His 2012 portrait Captain S after Afghanistan is in the Archie 100 exhibition. Since 2013, Quilty has also been a trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
‘Over the years Ben has become one of my closest friends,’ says Whale, a Sydney artist who currently teaches at the National Art School. ‘He is not one to stop and rest. Compassion, anxiety, reflection and willpower are his driving force.
‘Ben agreed to pose for this painting but within minutes he fell fast asleep. Observing someone at rest is almost a privilege, as they are entirely vulnerable – a state of mind I rarely find my friends in. Painted in his Southern Highlands studio, where he lay with his hands folded across his chest, slack-jawed and deep in slumber, Ben woke hours later to see the skeleton of this portrait. He was pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend him as the stillest of models!’
Image: Archibald Prize 2021 finalist, Mirra Whale, Repose (detail) © the artist