Web Statistics Wynne and Sulman adventure 2014 | Kerry Thompson's Blog - Artist ~ aka Kerry Millard, cartoonist/author/illustrator

Wynne and Sulman adventure 2014

A number of weeks ago I had a lovely adventure as I dropped off two paintings at The Art Gallery of NewSouth Wales, one entered for the Wynne prize, and the other entered for the Sulman Prize, two competitions which are run alongside the Archibald Prize for portraiture.

For the Wynne (Australian landscape or figurative sculpture) I entered Flame tree at "Bundanon" which was begun on an artist residency offered by the "Bundanon" Trust on the Boyd property inland from Nowra NSW.

Flame tree at "Bundanon" 72x15 copy
Flame tree at "Bundanon", Kerry Thompson
acrylic on canvas, 92cm x 92cm
Private collection


In the Sulman category I entered "Hey, drop me a line" created as a message in a bottle to sit on my website home page in case my absent brother were to visit.

Hey drop me a line_Kerry Thompson _72x25 copy
Hey drop me a line, Kerry Thompson
acrylic on canvas 76cmh x 92cmw
Collection of the artist

I love that paintings which are entered have to be delivered to the Gallery so the judges can actually view them rather than virtually experiencing them via photographic images, which is the case for many competitions.

To deliver them you get to turn into and travel down the long driveway to the back of the Art Gallery, sail past the open boom gate, then try to wriggle into a parking nook amongst all the other entrants at the loading dock. I always crack up at the idea of a loading dock for art ... like a loading dock for poetry...

You then get to carry your work through an open behind-the-scenes grey concrete area to the lively smaller packing room where you are asked to lean your painting against the wall and facing it. Your paperwork is checked, each painting is given a number which is written on its back (inked forever!) and then it is loaded onto a special paintings trolley where it gets to rub shoulders with who knows who and is whisked away to await its turn to be glanced at. This year I commented that my paintings were very excited and one of the lovely packing room chaps said, "Of course they are!"

Many faces of arriving artists are grim you notice - annoyed to eyeball their competition? Worried at leaving their babies? Wanting to appear professional and slightly disapproving of having to go through this process? Wondering how they got the thing in the car in the first place because it certainly doesn't seem to want to come out? Who knows?

If by any chance your work isn't selected to hang it's not all bad because you then get to go back again to collect it, only this time the boom gate is down so you get to press the button and tell security with a casual air that you are so-and-so collecting your works from the such-and-such prize, the gate lifts and you pass into the much quieter parking area given that there are more days available to pick up than there were to deliver.

You are again amused at the idea of a loading dock for art, hand your paperwork back which is passed to a lanky fellow whom you trot after as he loops and swoops out one door, across part of the actual gallery with artworks on the walls and public milling about little guessing the back room goings on in their midsts, through a well concealed door into a large room where there are paintings leaning against paintings leaning against paintings. Oh wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to take a peek at them all???

Your own canvases are located by number and you carry them back across the public corridor, back through the inconspicuous door you hadn't realised you'd emerged from and certainly wouldn't have been able to find if the lanky chap weren't navigating, out through the loading dock and back to the car. As you wait for the boom gate to lift you savour the last few moments this year as an artist whose work has been viewed at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.