Sydney artist Craig Ruddy has won the 2010 Archibald People’s Choice Prize for his portrait of writer/director Warwick Thornton.
In 2004 Craig Ruddy was awarded both the Archibald Prize and the People’s Choice for Sydney and Melbourne exhibitions for his popular but contentious portrait of actor David Gulpilil.
This year his subject is Aboriginal writer/director Warwick Thornton. Thornton won the Camera d’Or for Best Feature Film at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for Samson & Delilah. The movie – which was his first feature film – has since won six AFI Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, along with numerous other prizes.
Ruddy was inspired and motivated by Thornton’s raw, honest filmmaking after seeing Samson & Delilah. ‘Warwick’s strong social consciousness drives him to fearlessly tackle society’s darkest issues head on,’ he says. ‘In a dignified and sensitive manner he carries us deep into the belly of darkness yet holds up a lantern that leads us through to the light. His film gives a voice to a lost generation who find themselves at the end of a long dark tunnel.’
The portrait title refers to Thornton’s nickname – given him as he often films using as few lights as possible.
Born in Sydney in 1968, Ruddy studied design and fashion illustration and worked as a commercial art director before his true passion for drawing and painting emerged in 2001. He now lives and works in Sydney, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. He has had four solo exhibitions in Sydney and one in London and has been represented in various group shows. This is his third time in the Archibald Prize.
Craig Ruddy receives $2,500 and a $1,000 ANZ Visa Debit Card for winning the People’s Choice.
Each year a voter for the Archibald painting which receives the most voters is selected to win $2,500 and a $1,000 ANZ Visa Debit Card and 2 nights accommodation at the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth. The lucky winner is Susan Bond from NSW who voted for Craig Ruddy’s painting of Warwick Thornton.
This is the 22nd year of the People’s Choice Prize, 23,376 people voted this year. Apple Yin’s portrait of Terry English was the second most popular painting.