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Ruddy's win Popular

Daily Telegraph
Firday, May 21, 2010
Elizabeth Fortescue


Had the public judged the Archibald this year, Craig Ruddy's portrait of filmmaker Warwick Thornton would have won.

            Ruddy’s portrait-in-a-lightbox, titled The Prince Of Darkness – Warwick Thornton, yesterday won the People’s Choice at the Art Gallery of NSW.

            The exhibition, which is open until May 30, has so far attracted about 80,000 visitors of whom 23,376 voted for their favourite. The second favourite with 300 fewer votes was Apple Yin’s Eastern-inspired portrait of the Hornsby artist Terry English, titled The Previous Life.

            Its rare for the public to agree with the trustees who judge the Archibald – this year Sam Leach won for his painting of entertainer Tim Minchin.

            Warwick Thornton is the writer/director of Samson And Delilah, a film about the love between two teenagers from an indigenous community in the desert. He had never been painted before but was happy with his portrayal. “I’ve only been famous for about a year,” Thornton says.

            “I like big, I like hairy. I’d love to have it, but Craig needs to eat.”

            This is Ruddy’s second people’s choice, after his 2004 portrait of actor David Gulpilil won both the Archibald prize and popular vote. Ruddy says he admires Thorton’s film work. “I just love how he’s tackling the darkest issues that we have in this country, and he’s doing it very eloquently,” Ruddy says.



Richard Martin Art