David Darcy wins the 2019 Archibald Prize ANZ People’s Choice Award

We congratulate Upper Hunter-based artist David Darcy for winning this year’s Archibald Prize ANZ People’s Choice Award for his portrait of Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward, respected elder of the Warakurna community and Ngaanyatjarra people of Western Australia, titled Tjuparntarri – women’s business.

Darcy took up painting only two years ago and is a second time finalist in the Archibald Prize for two consecutive years. He decided to paint his sitter, Mrs Ward, after meeting her last year and the two quickly hit it off and became good friends.

Winner Archibald Prize 2019 ANZ People’s Choice Award, David Darcy, Tjuparntarri – women’s business, oil on linen, 240.5 x 180.5cm. Sitter: Daisy Ward Tjuparntarri – artist, activist, educator, traditional healer.
© the artist. Photograph: AGNSW, Jenni Carter. Courtesy the artist and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

‘Last year Tjuparntarri walked into my studio looking for art supplies. Over several weeks, we got to know each other, and I discovered I’d met an extraordinary woman. Tjuparntarri is a beautiful human being. She is a strong, proud indigenous women of great substance. It was an honour to paint her and I am overwhelmed with pride knowing that through my endeavours, her portrait has connected with so many people. Thank you to everyone who voted!,’ Darcy said.

Ward is a cultural and community liaison officer for regional WA schools and is a director on the NPY Women’s Council, an advocate against domestic violence, a qualified translator, artist and storyteller. ‘I am very proud and happy that we, the people of the central deserts, are being recognised in this way’, Ward said upon hearing of Darcy’s win.

Congratulating Darcy and Ward, Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) Director Michael Brand said, ‘David’s striking depiction of Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward certainly struck a chord with visitors to the exhibition with many commenting on the strength and emotion visible in her gaze. It is no surprise that it came out on top as the ANZ People’s Choice Award winner.’

The Archibald Prize People’s Choice was first awarded in 1988 – now supported by presenting partner ANZ – and this year over 22,000 visitors to the 2019 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes have had their say with more than 12,000 visitors providing written comments about their favourite work.

To celebrate the Archibald Prize’s 100th anniversary in 2021, the AGNSW will also present ‘Archie 100’, a national touring exhibition exploring the history of the Prize in its centenary year. Arranged thematically, the centenary exhibition will present a diverse selection of Archibald portraits offering audiences a unique insight into Australia’s most celebrated portraiture prize over its 100-year history. The gallery has launched a public call out for information about or images of former Archibald Prize works that are not currently on their website. Members of the public can get in touch at archie100@ag.nsw.gov.au

Finalist works for the ‘2019 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes’ are on show at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until 8 September 2019. Archibald Prize finalists will then go on a tour of regional galleries and museums beginning at the TarraWarra Museum of Art in Victoria on 14 September 2019.