Rachel Griffiths uncovers the Archibald

Rachel Griffiths narrates the upcoming four-part documentary series The Archibald, taking a behind-the-scenes look at Australia's most famous portrait prize.

Rachel Griffiths has been surrounded by artists her whole life, so it seemed fitting the actress would add her voice to a behind-the-scenes look at Australia's most famous art prize, The Archibald.

The Muriel's Wedding actress narrates the upcoming four-part series, The Archibald, which follows eight artists vying for a spot in this year's competition.

"I'm married to an artist, my mother's an artist and I grew up in that world very comfortably so it's really exciting to be a part of a show that's trying to kind of demystify the process," Griffiths said.

"I think a lot of people are intimidated by art and they don't necessarily feel comfortable talking about it, and to kind of get behind and really see what is driving the creative decisions that painters are making I think it's really going to be liberating for people and very insightful.

Growing up in Melbourne, Griffiths' experience of the Sydney competition was initially through school where she learnt of William Dobell's controversial prize-winning portrait of fellow artist Joshua Smith in 1943, deemed a caricature by fellow entrants.

Her mother also exposed her to portraiture from a young age, taking her to the National Gallery of Victoria to look at the work of Melbourne artist Joy Hester.

"I think it's fantastic that the Archibald and the rise of neo-figuratism has kind of come back. I think it's claimed a lot of cred back actually," she said.

* The Archibald premieres on Tuesdays from September 12 at 7.30pm (AEST) on Foxtel Arts.

Source AAP

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