Thurston portraits to be unveiled today

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CANBERRA PAINTER Peter Engel has and has entered two portraits in this years’ Archibald Prize — both of NRL/Kangaroos/State of Origin football star Johnathan NRL/Kangaroos/State of Origin football star Johnathan Thurston.

One of Engel's two portraits of Thurston
One of Engel’s two portraits of Thurston

Engel travelled to Queensland earlier this year to paint NRL/Kangaroos/State of Origin football superstar Johnathan Thurston, and “I chose Johnathan for a number of reasons,” Engel says.  “Firstly, he has a very high profile, and is well­liked and respected within the NRL but also across the community generally…Also, to have any chance with the Archibald selection process, it helps to have a recognisable identity as the subject.”

While Engel admits selection for the Archibald Prize is a remote prospect, he hopes the portrait may catch the eye of the Packing Room Staff who determine the Packing Room Prize.

Engel and his partner travelled to Townsville to meet Thurston for the portrait sitting in March this year, and describes him as “a real gentleman, very gracious and accommodating during the sitting process.”

Both works will be unveiled at Wilbur’s Café in Hackett today from 5.30pm. Attendees will be able to have their say on which of the two portraits should be submitted for the Archibald.

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