BILLED as the only art competition in the world judged by a sulphur-crested cockatoo, (Maude from Coolac) the Bald Archy Prize is celebrating its 20th birthday with an opening this week at Watson Arts Centre.The brainchild of Peter Batey, a former Canberra Repertory director and inventor/ director of the character Betty Blokkbuster for actor Reg Livermore, it is the antidote to the annual Archibald Prize and has become a Mecca for arts-minded cartoonists and satire-minded artists.
Each year the country’s satirists have a different take on society and, while popular targets this year are Prime Minister Julia Gillard (always a cartoonist’s dream), Tony Abbott and mining magnate Gina Rinehart. A strange phenomenon 2013 is the portrayal of all three with vampire-like fangs.
The Archys are nothing if not cruel, as many of this year’s entries show, with even the Governor General rating a portrait. But it’s death to be left out and neither Kevin Rudd nor Malcolm Turnbull is to be seen on canvas.
The winner of the 2013 Bald Archy Prize will be announced in Sydney on April 5.
The Bald Archy exhibition, at Watson Arts Centre, 1 Aspinall Street Watson, daily from 10am – 4pm, February 8 to March 11. A Charity Preview for Autism Asperger ACT will be held from 6.30pm Thurs 7 March. Bookings 6176 0514.