PC Press and Essays
Profile of Jillian Ciemitis


Group Hug pushes Archibold buttons
Sebastian Smee, National art critic | The Australian, February 29, 2008

I'M hoping this year's Archibald Prize goes to Del Kathryn Barton for her bold and deliriously decorative portrait of herself with her two children.

It's called You are what is most beautiful about me, a self portrait with Kell and Arella, which will affect some people and turn others off (Del, Kell and Arella?!).

But in front of the picture itself, it's impossible not to be seduced by Barton's wild, decorative idiom, and the remarkable way she positions the figures, one inside the other.

There are other potential winners. It's an unusually strong field. I liked Peter Ciemitis's boldly cropped, close-in portrait of jazz musician and festival director Paul Grabowsky, and Fu Hong's portrait of art dealer and philanthropist Dr Joseph Brown.

And I couldn't help smiling at the virtuoso black-and-white portrait of David Stratton, The Australian's film critic, asleep on the job!

Reproduced by permission