Sydney artist Nafisa has been awarded the Packing Room Prize in conjunction with the 2010 Archibald Prize for her portrait of Glenn A Baker, rock historian and travel writer.
Three-time holder of the BBC’s Rock Brain of the Universe title, Glenn A Baker is renowned for his encyclopaedic knowledge of rock music. He has written books and magazine articles on the topic, interviewed celebrities, managed bands and promoted tours of international rock stars. He is also a widely read, award-winning travel writer.
‘I met Glenn A Baker some years ago through the work I do for Jeans 4 Genes, the fundraising arm of the Children’s Medical Research Institute,’ says Nafisa. ‘Each year he helps secure celebrity jeans, which are then painted by selected artists and auctioned at a charity function. We share a mutual love for travel and adventure, and I was intrigued by his boundless energy, enthusiasm and knowledge about all things to do with rock music.’
The size of the portrait reflects Baker’s larger-than-life, larrikin personality, depicting him sporting his signature hat and infectious smile. ‘Like his celebrity status, which may create a false distance between the subject and their audience, the sheer scale of the work forces you to view it from a distance,’ says Nafisa. ‘Yet the detail infers a more intimate knowledge and invites you to take a closer inspection, which reveals creative scrapings done with a razor blade.’
Born in Mumbai, India, Nafisa is a full-time artist living in Sydney. She has exhibited work in over 100 group shows and won over 50 awards and commendations including the First Prize (Gold Medal) at the 2007 Florence Biennale. She has been a finalist the Dobell Prize for Drawing, the Blake Prize for Religious Art and in numerous portrait prizes including the Portia Geach Memorial Award. She won the 2008 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture.
The Packing Room Prize gives the Gallery staff who receive the entries for Archibald a chance to vote for their favourite Archibald portrait. This is the Gallery’s head storeman, Steve Peters’ 26th Archibald Prize and his 19th Packing Room Prize.
Nafisa receives $500 and a $500 ANZ Visa debit card.
Finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes were also announced today.
This year there were 849 Archibald entries, 798 Wynne entries and 615 Sulman entries.