Congratulations to Vincent Namatjira, the first Indigenous artist to win the Archibald Prize.
The Archibald Prize, first awarded in 1921, is Australia’s favourite art award, and one of its most prestigious. Awarded to the best portrait painting, it’s a who’s who of Australian culture – from politicians to celebrities, sporting heroes to artists.
“Adam Goodes is a proud Aboriginal man who stands strong for his people, and I’m honoured to have painted his portrait. I first met Adam in 2018, when he visited the school in Indulkana where I live, as part of his work promoting Indigenous literacy.
When I saw the 2019 documentary (The Final Quarter) about Adam’s final season of AFL football my guts were churning as I relived Adam’s experiences with relentless racism on and off the field. As I watched, memories of my own experiences were stirred up and I knew I wanted to reach out and reconnect with Adam.
We share some similar stories and experiences – of disconnection from culture, language and country, and the constant pressures of being an Aboriginal man in this country. We ‘ve also both got young daughters, and don’t want them to have to go through those same experiences we had growing up.
When I was younger and growing up in the foster system in Perth, Indigenous footballers were like heroes to me. Goodesy is much more than a great footballer though, he took a strong stand against racism and said ‘enough is enough’. I stand strong with you too, brother.” – Vincent Namatjira
Video courtesy of Iwantja Arts. Videography and editing: Meg Hansen Adelaide Media Creators