Australian Fine Artist

2014 Archibald at the MPRG

Impressions of the Exhibition

Event: Visit by Chisholm Visual Art Students

The Archibald has a history or controversy. Having read the history of the exhibition last year, I found that to be the case gong back many years. From court cases to controversy about painting from photos, permission to use an image to whether a winner was indeed a portrait in the truest sense and meaning of the word. After all, we have had paintings of people looking in mirrors, doing selfies, faces not included at all included in the finalists in previous years.

This year was no different. As I walked around the various works I listened to the comments by people as they stood in front of different styles and methods of presenting a portrait. I was surprised by the amount of comments expressing dislike and dismay at the quality and the subjects of some of the  pieces. There were of course an equal amount of people who loved some works.

Given that the Oakhill Gallery is holding its “Little Archies” exhibition nearby at the moment, which I went to after leaving MPRG, I ended up with the impression that I had expected.

There were a few stand out beautiful and moving paintings that I just loved at MPRG. There were several that I wouldn’t have included but would have happily swapped for a few that were hanging in the Oakhill exhibition. At this point I want to point out that this is only my opinion. As a practising artist, qualified art trainer and currently fine art student, I feel it is my job and part of my learning to make critical analysis of what I see and what I do.

Favourites MPRG

My first pick for favourite goes to Anh Do for “Father”. I sat across the room from his portrait and saw the life, the hardship in his eyes as they looked across the room to me and connected with it on every level.

Second is Qiang Zhang for “Here”, a beautiful use of colour, tone and the skin tone was terrific.

Favourites Oakhill

I loved the painting of Paul Kelly in the front room at Oakhill. Sorry I can’t remember the name of the artist. the skin tones and colours are terrific and the again the eyes looked at me and I made a connection.

Next was a small pastel of an older Asian lady in the same room with the Paul Kelly painting. I love pastels as a medium and I thought they were used very well in this artwork.

I understand that everyone will have their own choices and ideas about this exhibition. It can be divisive and bring out strong feelings in both artists and art lovers. One thing it never is and that is boring.

If you are in the area around Mornington whilst the two shows are on I suggest you drop in. MPRG may need booking as the show is very popular, Oakhill is by gold coin donation and you will not need to book, just check their open times on their website.


Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery (MPRG):

Oakhill Gallery:


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