Congratulation to David Griggs and Imants Tillers who are both finalists in this years Archibald Prize

‘Amongst the backdrop of an art industry that can be riddled with drama, negativity and bitterness, someone will come along with care and compassion for artists. Alexie Glass-Kantor is such a person,’ says David Griggs.

‘I will not go into her achievements here as Wikipedia lists them all for you. I will tell you a story of a young curator who wrote about my work at the very start of my career. Twenty years later this young curator is now the executive director of Artspace in Sydney. Last year, during my one-year studio residency there, I became ill and had to take two months off. When I returned, Alexie and all the staff stepped up to make sure I was okay and to keep me working in a beautiful, positive environment. The level of care was unsurpassed.’

‘I wanted to paint Alexie as a thank you for looking out for me during a hard time. In turn, she allowed me into her own internal world in all its glory and pain. The painting you see is a mood, a free-flowing creative exchange between two humans, two friends.’

This is Griggs’ eighth time in the Archibald Prize. He is also a finalist in this year’s Sulman Prize.

‘Many artists, writers, actors and other cultural workers secretly follow sport,’ says Imants Tillers.

‘I was recently delighted to learn that Tracey Moffatt follows the South Sydney Rabbitohs (co-owned by Russell Crowe). I have also been a supporter since 1965, when as a 15-year-old I attended the legendary grand final between South Sydney and St George. To witness Greg Inglis in full flight, equipped with a fend that could stop a freight train, is to see poetry in motion. Thou majestic!’

‘But there is far more to Greg Inglis than being an elite Indigenous athlete. He is a hero and role model to Indigenous communities all around Australia, and a community leader of enormous influence. His great act of grace is to engage with these communities. He teaches children and adolescents how to avoid drugs, alcohol and violence and how to adapt to the many other challenges that these disadvantaged children and adolescents face. Every human being is the greatest work of art ever created.’

‘He brings hope and a sense that anyone, despite everything, can be master of their own destiny. All hail Greg Inglis!’

This is the sixth time Imants Tillers has been an Archibald finalist. He won the Wynne Prize in 2012 and 2013.

See all finalists by clicking on the link provided below: