Winner of the 2014 Archibald Prize: Fiona Lowry

There was a clear winner for this year’s 2014 Archibald Prize, Fiona Lowry has taken the cake, and is now enjoying it immensely.

2014ARC_FionaLowryAnnounced Friday 18 July, the Art Gallery of New South Wales was abuzz with anticipation as the winner out of the select 6 finalists – Mitch Cairns, Da Peng Liu, Fiona Lowry, Tim Maguire, Jude Rae and Salvatore Zofrea – was announced.

Out of 884 entries, a remarkable amount of 54 works were hung this year, as a result of the inclusion of an impressive salon of small works that have been hung together.

Finalist Mitch Cairns was awarded with a well-deserved highly commended for his striking portrait of Reg Richardson AM.

An artist that is renowned for her unique airbrush technique and limited palette of soft, pastel colours, Fiona Lowry’s winning portrait of architect Penelope Seidler emerges out of the grey shadows as a striking and poignant image.

Inspired by her first sighting of Penelope Seidler six years ago, Fiona Lowry commented “I was really struck by her beauty and her presence and asked someone who she was. I decided then that I would like to paint her.”

“It is important to me when I am making a work that I take the subject to a place that has memory and history attached to it because I am interested in exploring the subject’s interaction with that landscape” said Lowry.

It was at Penelope’s iconic house in Killara that provided the inspiration for the first sitting.

On this moment Lowry stated, “We spent some time in the bush at the back of the property looking at the waterfall. At one point, Penelope looked back at the house towering over us and reflected that it had been some time since she had seen it from this angle. It was that reflection that I wanted to explore with this portrait.”

Not a stranger to the Archibald this is Lowry’s third time in the Archibald Prize, as well as her win, she was also a finalist in the 2014 Sulman Prize.

The exhibition is now open to the public, where the real judging begins.  A prize that always beguiles and delights, discussing its controversy is everyone’s guilty pleasure.


The Archibald Prize 2014
19 July – 28 September
The Art Gallery of New South Wales

 Image 2: Fiona Lowry, Penelope Seidler, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 225 x 185cm
Courtesy the artist and the Art Gallery of New South Wales

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