Archibald Prize finalist to exhibit at The Moree Gallery

ARTIST Alison Mackay, scheduled to exhibit her work at The Moree Gallery next week, has been named as a finalist in the Archibald Prize competition.

Ms Mackay is one of 58 finalists vying for the iconic Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921.

The Archibald is regarded as Australia’s favourite art award and the most prestigious.

Ms Mackay will exhibit in Moree alongside Gail Berkman, Brooke Dalton, Isabelle Devos, Sally Falkiner, Leisl Mott and Emily Persson at The Moree Gallery’s Off the Shelf and Beyond exhibition next week as part of Moree on a Plate festivities.

Alison Mackay’s Quid pro quo is one of 58 finalists for the prestigious Archibald Prize. Ms Mackay will exhibit at The Moree Gallery from May 11.

The Moree Gallery director Gig Moses said having an Archibald Prize finalist featuring her work locally was an enormous coup for Moree.

“It is such a privilege to have Alison Mackay exhibiting in our forthcoming show Off the Shelf and Beyond, which opens next week on May 11,” Mrs Moses said.

“I am absolutely delighted that Alison is a finalist in this year’s Archibald Prize at Art Gallery of NSW with her portrait of Gary Grealy.

“We are just so lucky to have such a quality artist exhibiting in Moree – this is quite a coup,” she said.

Ms Mackay, who lives at Jervis Bay, painted renowned photographer Gary Grealy for this year’s Archibald Prize, her first entry in the iconic competition.

In the past she has been a finalist in the NSW Parliament’s Plein Air Painting Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award and Black Swan Portrait Prize.

Jervis Bay artist Alison Mackay.

Last year photographer Mr Grealy won the National Photographic Portrait Prize with a gothic image of Ms Mackay and her partner, Richard Morecroft.

“I then asked Gary if I could paint his portrait in return. Firstly because of the ‘mutual portraiture’ resonance, but also because I thought it would be hard for him to say ‘no’,” Ms Mackay told the Art Gallery of NSW website.

“Gary’s methodical and precise process in creating an image is entirely different to my more exploratory approach,” she said.

The Archibald Prize is acknowledged as Australia’s favourite art award and features a who’s who of Australian culture, from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes and artists.

Ms Mackay’s entry, Quid pro quo, is oil on shellac on board and measures 41.5cm by 44cm.

“I made about a dozen portraits of Gary, trying to capture something of his character, whilst maintaining a vitality and spontaneity in the paintwork,” Ms Mackay said.

The Archibald Prize competition’s Packing Room winner was also decided this week.

Jamie Preisz’s Jimmy (Title Fight), a 153cm by 116.5cm oil on canvas of rock legend Jimmy Barnes was announced the winner.

“Jimmy has never been afraid to stand up and fight; he’s fought for his career, his family and even his life,” Mr Preisz said.

Off the Shelf and Beyond opens Friday, May 11 at 10am and includes a Friday evening opening function at The Moree Gallery.

The exhibition concludes June 8, 2018.

See or phone (02) 6752 3927 for further information.

Words: Bill Poulos