Breaking the 99-year history, inherent artist Vincent Namatjira received the annual Archibald Prize on Friday, which is the most prestigious art prize in Australia. This is for the very first time, an Aboriginal painter wins the portraiture competition after 99 years.
The winning painting “Stand strong for who are” curated by Vincent is a caricature painting of himself with Adam Goodes who is champion Aboriginal Australian Rules footballer was awarded a cash prize of A$100,000 ($70,620).
Vincent Namatjira has been a member of the central Australia’s Western Arrernte Community. He was deeply moved by the documentary, “The final Quarter” which had excerpts from Adam’s final season in the AFL.
“My guts were churning as I relived Adam’s experiences of relentless racism on and off the field,” Namatjira said.
He further added, “We share some similar stories and experiences – of disconnection from culture, language and Country, and the constant pressures of being an Aboriginal man in this country.”