“ This is Romy, my six-year-old sister. She is always chatting and rarely sits still. I wanted to paint her in a rare moment of stillness to contrast with her loud and bright personality,” reads Hannah Mitchell’s artist’s statement.
Mitchell managed to capture something special in her concept, going on to win the top prize in the Young Archies, beating out over 1000 other five to 18-year-old artists.
The Canberra painter will be starting art school in the next semester at the National Arts School in Darlinghurst, Sydney. She has been on a working gap year teaching painting at the Lavender Art Studios in Phillip.
The first time entrant, now 19 was one of many young artists who were inspired to paint family members. The winner of the 13-15 year old category Ellie Arnott also captured her sister called Tempe.
“She has such a happy, bubbly personality and I wanted to express that in my artwork,” she said. “Tempe has the ability to brighten up my day and make me laugh. I cannot imagine life without my special sister.”
Other winners in their categories chosen from a field of 1,200 entries include Marium El-Hajj, age 12 from Arncliffe NSW in the 9-12 years category:
Daniel Harford, age 7, from Horsley NSW won the 5-8 years category, also with a portrait of his sister.
The winning artworks were praised for their rich colour palettes, diversity of materials used, their vibrancy and energy by Archibald Prize-winning artist and judge Del Kathryn Barton and gallery director Michael Brand.
If you’d like to join the 65,000 people who have already seen the young finalists and winner up close, they’ll be on display at the Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney, hanging as part of the Archibald Prize exhibition until September 27, 2015.