• Sulman Prize 2018 winner Kaylene Whiskey 'Kaylene TV' © the artist. Photo: AGNSW (Supplied)Source: Supplied
The Archibald, Wynne and Sulman art prize winners have been announced and an inaugural award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists unveiled.
Emily Nicol

13 May 2018 - 11:17 AM  UPDATED 16 May 2018 - 10:42 AM

One of the nation's biggest art prizes, the Archibald Prize has been awarded at the Art Gallery of NSW.

The winning entrant as announced in front of media and fellow artists, was a self portrait by Yvette Coppersmith, who picked up $100,000.

The prize which was established in 1921 after the receipt of a bequest from J. F. Archibald, the editor of The Bulletin, who died in 1919, over the years has seen a lot of controversy as well as glory. The prize is yet to be won by an Indigenous Australian, though there have been consistent entries over the years.

This year's prize had two Aboriginal finalists: Adam aka 'Blak Douglas' Hill with a portrait of Uncle Roy Kennedy; and Vincent Namatjira with a self portrait which featured his grandfather Albert Namatjira. Tiger Yaltangki was shortlisted.

The finalists also included two portraits featuring Indigenous artists, Tony Albert and also film director Warwick Thornton.

Alongside the Archibald, the Wynne Prize and Sulman Prize are also announced. 

This year saw a record number of finalists in the Wynne, a category which awards landscape works, by artists who identify as Aboriginal: 18 of the 46 finalist works. 

At Friday's awards ceremony, a new prize for an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander artist in the Wynne Prize was also unveiled.

The inaugural winner of the Roberts Family Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Prize and $10,000 is Wawiriya Burton for a work titled Ngayuku ngura (my country). Burton is a senior woman from the Amata community.

In the painting, she tells the story of her father’s country near Pipalyatjara, west of Amata in South Australia. It depicts minyma mingkiri tjuta (small female desert mice). The mingkiri are pregnant and give birth to many babies. They then journey to the surrounding rock holes in search of food and water for their young. The dotted lines are mingkiri tracks.

‘A long time ago, when we were little children, we ran around Puta Puta and Ilitjata, our grandfather’s and father’s ground, and because of this we grew up strong. Why? Because it’s Anangu country – Aboriginal people’s country – of their spirit.’

Yukultji Napangati was awarded winner of the 2018 Wynne Prize and $50,000 for a work 'Untitled' a painting associated with 'Yunala, a rock hole and soakage water site among sandhills west of Kiwirrkura in Western Australia'.


Aboriginal artist Kaylene Whiskey is the winner of the 2018 Sir John Sulman Prize and $40,000.

The description of the work explains her use of celebrities.

'This is my painting about two strong kungkas (women)... Dolly Parton is wearing the pink overalls with pockets. Dolly has been skateboarding at the shops. She must have bought that Christmas present for Cher because they are good friends, they like to sing together!'

All of the winning and finalist artworks in the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes can be viewed online and at the Art Gallery of NSW from 12 May until the 9th September. 

Kalkadoon artist explores different realities in 'Jupiter Orbiting'
Artist Joshua Pether brings his latest creation, 'Jupiter Orbiting' an exploration of trauma, empathy and mental health to the Next Wave Festival.
Inquiry into fake Aboriginal art underway in the NT
Public hearings will be held in Alice Springs and Hermannsburg on Tuesday and Wednesday.