07 June 2024

Laura Jones wins Archibald Prize 2024

Congratulations to Laura Jones, winner of the Archibald Prize 2024 for her portrait of Tim Winton.
In 2016, Laura Jones undertook an artist residency to study the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, leading to her exhibition Bleached.  Afterwards, she met acclaimed author and conservationist Tim Winton at an environmental advocacy event.

‘I was amazed by the humility of this great novelist, who has enchanted generations of Australian readers. Last year, I watched his ABC documentary, Ningaloo Nyinggulu, about the fight to save Ningaloo Reef. It was beautiful and terrifying. In a speech, Tim said the lack of action on climate change hasn’t been challenged enough in the arts. I was stunned to discover a portrait of Tim had never been a finalist in the Archibald Prize. Then I found out why – he was a reluctant subject.

When I flew to Perth for a sitting, the Great Barrier Reef was suffering its fifth mass bleaching event in eight years. Tim was warm and witty. We spoke about the historical relationship between printmaking and political activism. I approached his portrait as if it was a monotype, using thin brushstrokes and letting the paint bleed across the canvas like ink into paper. Dreamy yet direct.’  – Laura Jones, 2024

Laura’s award winning artwork can be viewed alongside all the finalists at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until 8 September 2024.

Image: Laura Jones, Tim Winton, 2024, oil on linen, 198.0 x 152.5 cm